Mother Nature Is Brought to You By …

Mother Nature Is Brought to You By …

The New York Times

Tim Wu

This year, parks in several states including Idaho and Washington, and the National Park Service, will be blazing a new trail, figuratively at least, as they begin offering opportunities to advertisers within their borders.

King County in Washington, which manages 28,000 acres of parkland surrounding Seattle, offers a full branding menu: Naming rights or sponsorships may be had for park trails, benches and even trees. “Make our five million visitors your next customers,” the county urges potential advertisers.

King County already partnered with Chipotle to hide 30 giant replica burritos on parkland bearing the logo of the agency and the restaurant chain. People who found the burritos won prizes from Chipotle.

In May, the National Park Service proposed allowing corporate branding as a matter of “donor recognition.” As The Washington Post reported, under new rules set to go into effect at the end of the year, “an auditorium at Yosemite National Park named after Coke will now be permitted” and “visitors could tour Bryce Canyon in a bus wrapped in the Michelin Man.”

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/02/opinion/sunday/mother-nature-is-brought-to-you-by.html?_r=1