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The LENS Achieves Its Highest Status - Infomercial Recognition

Maybe the Maltzan people can name one of those sweeping loops the "Swivel" in honor of Mr. Sullivan's support.

The arts community must be cringing, Michael Maltzan is probably not returning calls and I can't wait for the City to put a positive spin on the LENS' latest supporter. 

The Tampa Bay Times is reporting that TV pitchman Anthony Sullivan is starting an "unpaid" campaign to support the LENS. Not to take anything away from Mr. Sullivan a very successful protégé and partner of Billy Mays, who is without question one of television's most successful pitch men. 

From CNN Money: "When Mays and Sullivan are debating whether to shill for a product, their mental checklist could easily be a decision tree for a new product launch at a major corporation. "First, it's got to have mass appeal," says Mays. "If you can connect to a broader audience, there's just a better shot of making it work. Second, the product needs to solve a common problem. I need to be able to show that it makes one's life easier. And also it gives instant gratification, hits you on an emotional level." Both Mays and Sullivan swear that believing in the product is essential to being able to sell it". 

Mays and Sullivan built a very successful business promoting products that we didn't know we needed. The LENS certainly meets some of Mays an Sullivan's requirements. The whole functionality thing and mass appeal seems to be a problem for the LENS. 

With their magnificent iconic art piece reduced to a comparison with the Swivel Sweeper, no matter how accurate, it must be a crushing blow to those who have long touted the iconic value of the LENS design.  Maybe the Maltzan people can name one of those sweeping loops the "Swivel" in honor of Mr. Sullivan's support. 

The LENS project has been recognized for what it is by a true expert in the field of infomercial promotional marketing. Something cheaply made, of limited  functionality, with unique eye appeal and limited life expectancy. 

Not art, just cheap infomercial junk. Finally a valid definition. 

I can't wait to see Danner and Curran schmoozing with Sullivan trying to put a positive spin on this one. 

There could be a back story here. If Leslie Curran is still thinking about running for Mayor, definitely an uphill battle, maybe Mr. Sullivan can give her some pointers. Mayor Foster may want to jump on the band wagon and try to lure Mr. Sullivan into his camp. Just what very iconic art story needs - a sub plot. 

If you don't want the "as sold on TV" replacement for the Pier, be sure to get a petition for the Pier Referendum and complete it properly. Information and schedule of events at Stop The Lens

e-mail Doc at dr.webb@verizon.net, or send me a FacebookFriend Request.

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Johann October 24, 2012 at 12:49 PM
Perhaps we can convince the Home Shopping Network to relocate to the uplands so the sales personalities will have a stunning backdrop to hawk their high quality wares....
Nicolas Weathersbee October 24, 2012 at 01:36 PM
Welcome to St. Petersburg, Florida....Home of The Oxiclean Lens..."where art and made for tv products go hand in hand." The lens will now be indelibly linked to late night, made for tv, Chinese made products. Thanks Mr. Sullivan! Your magic touch has turned the lens into a laughing stock even more than it already was.
beichler October 24, 2012 at 02:01 PM
Interesting that people see Mr. Sullivan's support as a joke. Successful, involved, City resident who actually understands project must be crazy right? I think the real story here is all the folks making the noise against this, mainly shop owners at the current Pier that recieve a subsidized rent, or folks that have been here so long that they cannot forsee anything else but a cheaply made replica of something that belongs in Eygpt! The Lens offers St. Petersburg a path forward, just as the Inverted Pyramid did in 1970. Just like the President said the other night "1970 called and wants it architecture back!"
Rider October 24, 2012 at 02:13 PM
beicher......the opponents to the lens are "mainly shop owners at the current Pier"? Wow, I wonder where there is room for over 20,000 people who signed the petition to put this issue where it should be.....on the ballot so that the citizens can decide, not a clique of downtowners hob nobbing with the infamous. It's highly doubtful that Mr Sullivan will abandon his pool and cabana during the hot, muggy season that is about 5-6 months long here, to go hang out at the lens......tell me now, do you really think that people will use an totally outdoor space during that season.....really?
Tom Lambdon - VOTEONTHEPIER.COM October 24, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Beginning on November the 8th, 2010 - more than 23,000 City VOTERS signed petitions as provided for under the State Constitution to FORCE City "leaders" to listen to them regarding the fate and future of THEIR Pier. City "leaders" - AFTER our group spent more than 20 months legally soliciting and accumulating those VALID petitions - chose to arrogantly flip the finger to these registered voters at the very last minute - contending they did not need to honor those petitions - as certified by the Supervisor of Elections - after we paid the respective fees to validate each and every one of them - to let VOTERS decide what THEY would like to see happen with THEIR Pier. The handful of City "leaders" that chose to deliberatly tell the citizens of the City to sit down and shut up on 8/02 - now find themselves scrambling for ways to somehow convince these same citizens that THEY know what is best for everyone - and that the new Leslie Curran selected and promoted lens "winding sidewalk to nowhere" is somehow actually a pier. Today I can formally announce that the beginning of our court fight to stop these renegade and irresponsible idiots at City Hall begins with our very first hearing before a County Judge on Wednesday, December the 5th, at 10:15AM. The City has responded to the lawsuit filed by 15,652 of our group's petitioners against the City - contending these same petitioners have NO legal standing as Plaintiffs. We will see on 12/05/12 if a judge agrees. Stay tuned.
N.A.W. October 24, 2012 at 02:45 PM
Wow, I guess you missed the part where 23,000 registered voters signed petitions to have a vote on this issue? I guess they all have businesses at the pier? What a load of crap. I'm so happy that a huckster of Chinese made junk has attached his name to the lens! Because, you know, massive art projects and made for tv junk simply go hand in hand.
b October 24, 2012 at 04:36 PM
I'm still waiting on the spin on how when asked why 120 less parking spaces at the "new" pier, city council responed... We expect less business at the new pier. Less business for 60 million dollars. Hmmm... Yeah, that makes sense.
N.A.W. October 24, 2012 at 05:47 PM
This was said by Raul Quintana.
L October 25, 2012 at 05:51 PM
Where were all the people against a new pier during all of the meetings over the past several years? These were all open to the public? The current pier is not 'historic', highly subsidized, and can't be repaired. I truly appreciate the history of St. Petersburg and don't agree with tearing down historic structures, but a 40 year old upside down pyramid is not historic. If the original Million Dollar Pier were still standing, then I'd agree with you. If you are in favor of tearing down the pier (not saving it), then please let me know what your 'perfect' pier would look like & offer for the residents and visitors. The Old NE Patch and most of its readers are not in favor of change and the new Lens, so I know I'm in the minority on this website.
N.A.W. October 25, 2012 at 06:08 PM
Who says it can't be repaired? You do know that the 50 million in TIF funding was to repair it right? And there are more attributes that make a building historic,or worthy of preservation, like local economic impact, and the architecture..it's not simply the age. I think there should have been a vote on the old pier, but there wasn't, and we should learn from that mistake...get the people behind you. A simple up and down vote on the current pier, then go to step two. Why do you think St.pete Preservation favors keeping and refurbishing the pier? A perfect pier to me would be gutting this one, building it "net zero", energy efficient, cover iot in aqua marine glass to compliment the dali, move the retail on to the approach to create programming all the way up to the building, along with a shaded walk...stop vehicles from driving out there, and have an old fashioned electric trolley as a people mover, starting say, from baywalk, and making stops at beach drive, bayshore, and the pier terminus...there should be a wooden fishing pier built off the east side of the pier for fishermen, with the amenities they need to continue world class fishing...maybe a fish market there as well, with fishing charters. Create floating docks with a breakwater, so boats of all sizes could dock....add another floor to the building, creating a green space on top, with paths winding through a botanical garden.....there's so much that could be done if we had an administration that cared.
N.A.W. October 25, 2012 at 06:08 PM
cont- They recently said, when asked where will people park, since they are eliminating 126 parking spots, and they replied that they expect LESS visitation, But on other days, you hear them say that the lens will be more popular? What's going on here?
KK October 26, 2012 at 02:08 AM
I would like to see something like Navy Pier or Coney Island. And as for where the opponents were we when the meetings were taking place, WE WERE THERE AND THEY WERE NOT LISTENING. and they are still NOT listening. 70% of the people ARE NOT in favor of the lens.

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