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Parks & Public Spaces

Application from Allied Experiential for “Amazon Treasure Truck Oreo Holiday House,” a marketing event in Bryant Square Park on December 14, 2019

At the regularly scheduled monthly Community Board Five meeting on Thursday, December 12, 2019, the following resolution passed with a recommendation to approve with a vote of 36 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining:

WHEREAS, Allied Experiential (“Applicant”), a division of Allied Global Marketing, has submitted a permit application to the Parks Department on behalf of its clients Amazon and Oreo for “Amazon Treasure Truck Oreo Holiday House,” a marketing event to be held in the northwest corner of the ice rink at Bryant Square Park on Saturday, December 14th¸ 2019 from 11 AM to 10 PM; and

WHEREAS, Event set-up would occur from 11 PM on December 13 to 10 AM on December 14, while breakdown and cleanup would occur from 11 PM on December 14 to 7 AM on December 15; and

WHEREAS, The Event is to involve a 30 feet by 30 feet footprint occupying the space directly to the northwest of the Park’s ice skating rink, and will consist of two structures: a 16 feet by 14 feet Oreo-branded house (the “Oreo House”) and a 10 feet by 10 feet Oreo-branded structure in which visitors are encouraged to take photographs (the “Photo Op”); and

WHEREAS, The Oreo House is constructed to resemble a gingerbread house made of Oreos, with a large Oreo logo on its front façade, and inside the house visitors will encounter Oreo-branded Christmas-themed décor, including a 7-foot Oreo cookie rug; and

WHEREAS, Music will be played from a Bluetooth speaker within the Oreo House; and

WHEREAS, The Photo Op area consists of a heavily branded backdrop, with images of a carton
pouring milk and a large Oreo logo in the center, and a “dunk ball pit” filled with foam Oreo cookie
props and white balls resembling milk bubbles, with visitors encouraged to take photographs of
themselves and post them on social media; and

WHEREAS, The Event will also feature at least 8 external signs, all branded with Oreo logos and
themes, including one sign announcing that filming will be taking place inside and outside the
structures, and that “If you don’t want to be on camera, please avoid this area. If you’re in this area,
we’ll assume you’re OK with having a few moments in the spotlight,” in direct contradiction with
Community Board Five’s expectations of appropriate verbiage for such signage; and

WHEREAS, The Applicant anticipates up to 5,000 visitors, and is constructing a queue line created
out of stanchions to the direct left of the Oreo House, with security at the door of the Oreo House to
limit the number of visitors at one time; and

WHEREAS, Applicant is distributing Oreo samples to visitors; and

WHEREAS, Community Board Five finds objectionable the footprint and timing of the Event, its
placement adjacent to the skating rink, and its duration all-day on Saturday, December 14, one of the
most popular skating days of the winter, resulting in a heavily branded and commercial
oversaturation of a valuable and already-congested public space; and

WHEREAS, The sizable and numerous branded signage is extreme and inappropriate for a public
space, and the Applicant noted that the clients would not be amenable to modifying their plans
despite Community Board Five’s objections; and

WHEREAS, The Applicant asserted that its proposed verbiage and signage for the recording of
digital media of Park users for commercial usage in a heavily populated public space would
unilaterally create an implied consent by Park users for such use without written consent; and

WHEREAS, According to Community Board Five’s understanding and interpretation of New York
state law, Applicant is required to obtain park users’ express written permission for any such digital
use if they are recognizably recorded, and cannot post a notice instructing park users to avoid the
public space altogether to avoid the use of their digital likenesses; and

WHEREAS, The Event has an egregious impact on this vital and heavily trafficked public space, and
is a completely inappropriate use of the Park; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends denial of the application from Allied
Experiential for “Amazon Treasure Truck Oreo Holiday House,” a marketing event in Bryant Square
Park on December 14th, 2019.

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