Ignite this: insecure government agency embarrasses itself with rebrand

Wayne Hoffman Articles

While strolling the Coeur d’Alene Independence Day parade, I happened upon a float bearing the Lake City Development Corporation’s nom de plume, “ignite cda” (in all lower case letters).

LCDC’s rebranding is upsetting as it is embarrassing. A government agency shouldn’t use taxpayer dollars to reinvent itself.

The marketing guru behind the name wrote in the Coeur d’Alene Press that the old “Lake City Development Corporation” moniker was too “stuffy,” among other things. But that’s what government agencies are supposed to be. Government agencies aren’t supposed to be “products” hawked by advertising and marketing agencies. Nor should government agencies seek the spotlight, as the Lake City Development Corporation is doing under its new name. Government logos shouldn’t be fixtures in people’s minds the way the Nike swoosh is. Nor should government agencies play cute with their names.

Imagine if your local fire department decided that “fire department” was too boring. If ignite cda is OK, maybe “Extinguish CDA” would be a clever companion agency.  If you think “Lake City Development Corporation” is boring, wait ‘til you see what some of our state agencies are called: Maybe the state Department of Health and Welfare should be renamed “The Path to Happiness.” The Department of Correction should be called “The Sheraton.” The Department of Agriculture should be called “Food is Awesome.” Because “Apple” already is taken.

It’s embarrassing that ignite cda will always be a bad name during Idaho’s fire seasons. It’s embarrassing that ignite cda’s new logo looks like a badly baked donut. It’s embarrassing that is Ignite CDA (with correct capitalization) seems to also be the campaign slogan for the College Democrats of America.

The biggest embarrassment is taxpayer money being spent to fix the old LCDC’s insecurity problem. Money that would otherwise be used to spruce up Coeur d’Alene is instead being used to inflate the agency’s ego.