A Prime Example of why a Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Affiliate Website Photo
Current Website Photo (click to read the fine print)
Original Website Photo
Wikipedia Photo

Thanks to Linda Buquet of Catalyst Marketing for additional “research”.

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A Prime Example of why a Picture is Worth a Thousand Words by

26 thoughts on “A Prime Example of why a Picture is Worth a Thousand Words”

  1. Not to be out done by marketing savvy, I just put may company name on the White House.

  2. Mike: I’m sure some attorney’s, some property owners, some corporation is going to get wind of this and blow it up into a huge issue.

    We saw how 29Prime added the little “artist rendering” comment under the first picture after your last post about them. I suspect that is an effort to cover their @sses. and they should IMHO.

    There is enormous value in signage. Those photoshopped pictures purposefully dissipate the value and falsely attempt to move the value to other entities.

    Man, imagine if the judge who ruled in a favor of a $150,000 punitive damage case as you described elsewhere got a hold of this situation in a court: http://blumenthals.com/blog/2012/05/24/appeals-court-upholds-150k-in-punitive-damages-for-3-fake-reviews/

  3. Oh when I found that Reliable Places pic on that site, I didn’t even realize it was an affiliate. ASSUMED it was just another one of their names.

    The Whois contact is Milton@29Prime, same guy as on the 29 Prime site. Affiliates usually reg their own domain.

    Here’s that screenshot I took that had the top photo. Think it’s helpful to see the context around the image. ;-)

    Screenshot

  4. You always see blog posts and TV shows about “inventions that changed the world”. Photoshop is always overlooked, but it’s fingerprints are all over the internet.

  5. How could they possibly think that know one would notice? Its amazing how creative these folks are. Maybe they should get in to photography.

  6. @Linda
    There is very little distinction between a 29Prime and a 29Prime Affiliate. They set these companies up, claim the domains, give them websites and then claim that they are distinct entities. Which they may be legally. But as I have pointed out in the past, if they look like divisions, act like divisions then they probably are divisions. I assume that having a million of these companies is a way to increase sales and spread around the pressures that crop up from their practices.

  7. Hey Mike,

    Your latest blog post about us was forwarded to me. I’m not sure what you have against my company, but you continue your witch-hunt. Your focus seems to have shifted to branding and building pictures, so I’ll reply on those items.

    As I believe I mentioned previously, the company has a legitimate lease for around 45k square feet in the building above. The move was just a few months ago, from a 6k foot space, so the company is growing, improving, and legit. The building has 2 tenants, each occupying 2 floors, Unysis and us. One of the floors Unysis occupies is larger than the others, so they have more square feet. They may have had the entire building at some point, and downsized to 2 floors. Both tenants have inside and outside signage rights, but since they were here first and have more space, their outside signage is located better. The artist renderings showing 29 Prime are exactly that. It is the right building, and is occupied by us. The artist liberties are not an issue. We also use cartoon buildings which are completely artwork. Do you have an issue with them too? The landlord does not. There is nothing wrong with this practice despite your posts.

    As for brands, companies using multiple sales brands, product brands, etc is a very common and legitimate practice. Here is an Inc Magazine article showing many big companies such as Marriott, Levis, Colgate, GE, Mitsubishi and others doing so: http://www.inc.com/guides/2010/10/how-to-master-multiple-brand-management.html. They only give a small snapshot, but there are so many more. Do some research on the P&G, Coke, Toyota, GM, or Nabisco brands some time. Google has multiple product brands and one corporate brand (Adsense, Adwords, You Tube, etc etc etc). Microsoft has numerous brands. Bing or Windows ring a bell?

    In our case, resellers, different companies, white label their sales brands. We register the domain and build a sales site for them so they can focus on sales. There is nothing under-handed here. There are also some product brands as well as the corporate brand. We think this is simply a sound branding strategy. It is certainly used by many companies much more successful than us.

    While your posts about us are clearly intended to raise questions, and imply negativity, you are misguided. I guess we should take it as somewhat of a backhanded compliment. No one writes about you, positive or negative, if you aren’t relevant.

  8. @Milton
    Again thanks for stopping by.

    I have no problem with multiple brands nor the way that GM or Toyota handle them and am clear as a consumer what they mean and why they mean it. On the other hand, I find your branding and white labeling strategy confusing at best which is why I answered Linda’s comment above with some ambiguity.

    From your above comment I am unsure whether Reliable is a separate company or a separate brand.

    And I am unclear why they also feel the need to photoshop the Unisys building.

  9. @Milton – One question: Are the signs on the building in the photos real or not? If they are photoshop fakes it is dishonest. End of discussion.

  10. Mike: I used to lease office buildings in a large complex market similar in many characteristics to the LA region market. One significant similarity has to do with the complexity of leases.

    Milton’s comments are generally misleading about the signage issues and specifically wrong on certain details.

    1. Leases in a market like this would have clauses about interior tenant signage, such as what might go up on a lobby board, or lobby electronic signage system. There could also be signage criteria and specifics about signage on the floor on which one locates. Those clauses have nothing to do with outdoor signage.

    The commentary about signage rights indoors are irrelevant to outdoor signage.

    2. Building leases with outdoor signage have very specific language. Some party is going to pay for the sign, pay for its installation, be responsible for maintenance, etc. There are going to be specific rulings about installation on a building, method of installation, materials, size, approvals. The approval process means that someone has to pay for that. The signage design might go before local jurisdictions, it might have to conform with a specific office park, etc.

    If that is not in one’s lease, one doesn’t have outdoor signage rights. One could have an option for outdoor signage rights.

    Big deal. It doesn’t go into effect unless the existing signage is down.

    3. I suspect the photoshopped rendering of the signage on the column in front of the building would have violated some restriction, either by the building or the local jurisdiction. Note that the signage on that off building column by unisys includes the property address. 29Prime’s photoshopped effort covers the address.

    I had looked up the building on the web. Its over 20 plus years old with different tenants having occupied the property over time. There are old web documents from real estate sites, showing the property from years ago with a different tenant having the same type of signage as Unisys has now. Of interest their signage on the front architectural column is similar in size to that which Unisys is using. In both cases, with the old tenant and with Unisys the street address shows and in the 29Prime photoshopped copy it doesn’t show.

    I suspect covering the street address would be a violation. Obviously 29Prime does not have a lease that addresses these issues.

    I keep repeating this. Signage has value. Large companies such as Unisys know this. If they are like other large businesses their legal side has addressed signage issues at some point.

    External signage has value to the landlord. They might charge Unisys for the existing sign, or when Unisys first occupied the building the signage rights and specific availability were part of the negotiations for that lease. Even if Unisys isn’t paying for the sign, suppose they were looking at two different nearby buildings with similar space. The landlord could have given them signage rights and possibly the other buildings didn’t give them the right or their signage was already spoken for. In those possibilities the signage would again have value.

    It has value. I strongly suspect people in either the property, signage businesses, naming rights industry, or some affiliated industry are going to get wind of this and address it. It is too valuable for it to be diluted in the context that 29Prime is doing. Unisys might see this and take offense. They may address it with 29Prime direct, they may take it to the management and ownership of the property.

    On a large scale basis signage is most certainly a many billion dollar business. I can’t imagine the destructive elements if different entities started photoshopping every buiding sign, billboard, corporate or college arena signage, etc.

    The 29Prime move opens that can of worms. When somebody in those industries sniff this out, it is going to come back to haunt 29Prime.

    that is my opinion.

  11. Mike: I neglected to add one other point about Milton’s arguments. In the comments above and in his comments from the earlier post Milton references the size of the space his business (or his many businesses names) occupy at the property.

    Milton’s comments are simply irrelevant and attempt to move the discussion off topic. Size is not directly relevant to building signage at all. A very small tenant within the building could obtain outdoors signage. If that were the case, one would expect that either the small space tenant paid for the signage, or the landlord gave them this right because of the prestige of the business name. Size of tenancy is entirely irrelevant.

    Milton is simply making an effort to divert the real issue.

    But I have a different suggestion for Milton, in the event he dawdles on removing those photoshopped versions of the building and some “heat seeking law suit” representative of signage rights zeros in on these deliberate misrepresentations.

    Milton could go to Unisys and arrange to pay them some big fee to give up their signage rights to the property.

    Hey Milton: Its only money

  12. Dave,

    Your comments are comical. Of course the lease has specific legal language on all sort of matters, including the terms of inside and outside signage rights. The point was the company has signage rights, both inside and out. I see no reason to post the language from a proprietary contract, but, as stated previously, the signage rights exist and no signage terms have been violated.

    Your posts go so far off topic, and are so wordy, I can only conclude you are either the least succinct communicator on the planet, or the primary purpose of yours multiple pointless posts is to add as many words as possible in the hope of moving the article up the search results, probably in a feeble and self-serving attempt to hurt a competitor.

    Do you really have nothing better to do with your time? :-)

    Happy Memorial Day Mike.

  13. @mike b. First. Semper Fi to all the fallen and their families. Next. I applaud you for allowing this gentleman to post here. Nice to see everyone getting a say on your private site.

  14. @Milton

    I would appreciate if you left the ad hominen attacks at the door. If you have a factual answer for Dave, feel free to provide it but I see absolutely NO reason to attack him personally.

  15. Mike:

    Most leases in most jurisdictions are private not public. Only the tenant, his/her agent/attorney, and the landlord, his/her agent/attorney will have copies.

    If that is the case we can’t get to see 29Prime’s lease unless Milton wants to show us the lease and the clauses.

    So Milton can claim anything he wants. Meanwhile we saw that they adjusted the description under the picture with the 29Prime photoshopped picture by adding the words…”artists rendition”

    I believe that speaks for itself.

    Here is my gut reaction. On the photoshopped picture with the 29Prime Signage, the architectural column in front of the building facing the road, currently with the Unisys signage also shows the street address.

    I suspect that a standard signage clause including that architectural column would mandate that the street address be visible.

    In fact, in that the building has been around since the early 1980’s other tenants have occupied the building and had signage rights. Here is a link to a web page with a picture of a former tenant that had signage rights: http://www.loopnet.com/Listing/15625016/9701-Jeronimo-Road-Irvine-CA/

    Note the signage on the front architectural piece is similar to that of Unisys. It is small and shows the street address.

    The photoshopped version of the 29Prime signage covers that street address.

    Since signage rights are very specific with regard to size and dimensions I seriously doubt Miltons arguments.

    But if he wants to prove me wrong he can show us his lease.

  16. Mike:

    I don’t mind Milton’s rebuttal. Here are the issues on the signage based on my experience.

    With regard to Milton’s comments about his “signage rights” addressed above and in the earlier article:

    1. There is no relationship at all between what Milton describes as “indoor” and “outdoor” signage rights. I presume by indoor he is referring to things like a lobby tenant board or door or floor signage.

    Every tenant in a building has specific language in a lease detailing these specifics. Imagine 30 tenants in a big building. Does that imply all have “outdoor” signage rights? Of course not.

    2. Percentage size of a tenant generally has no bearing on outdoor signage rights. Suppose a small tenant, (by square footage) wanted to pay the landlord a lot of money for the right to outdoor signage and no other tenant cared. Most landlords would happily make that deal.

    The above 2 points addressed by Milton were misdirection on the issue.

    I don’t have access to that lease, nor have I reviewed the applicable signage laws in Orange County, California, but when I looked at pictures….

    I reviewed the name signage on the front architectural column directly next to the road, and found previous pictures of earlier tenants with signage rights. What stood out was that in the case of Unisys, and the previous tenant….that signage was small and didn’t cover the street address, 9701.

    Milton’s photoshopped version of a sign on that column does cover the street address.

    If Milton had “signage rights” as he claims, they are absolutely in all cases subject to prior approval by the landlord. They could also be subject to approval by the local jurisdiction(s).

    Having seen two different signs on the building representing long periods of time, I strongly suspect that aspect of the signage would never have gotten approval.

    Look, maybe this landlord doesn’t know about the photoshopped pictures. Maybe the landlord doesn’t care. Maybe the landlord has a property in a weak market and just wants to make sure Milton’s company stays there and keeps paying rent. Maybe Unisys doesn’t know about it.

    Signage has value though. In total it is a multi billion dollar industry. If I were writing new leases I’d add a clause that a tenant could not do what Milton did with the photoshopped pictures.

    It dilutes the value of a sign, could seriously aggravate the tenant with the sign (Unisys in this case), and opens a can of worms about all sorts of misrepresentations about a property by one of the very tenants themselves.

    I made these suggestions before and I’ll make them again. If I were Milton I’d replace those photoshopped pictures of the building with something else. That is an easy way to avoid a potentially big set of problems.

  17. @Dave

    A rebuttal is one thing, which I welcome. However name calling and character attacks are something else. The former is welcome that later is not. While I welcome Milton to the conversation I don’t appreciate his effort to use a sharp tongue rather than facts.

  18. Hey Mike,

    I’m the only poster who actually knows the facts, so I thought I would share them. If others choose to ignore them, or not believe them, that is their prerogative.

    My apologies if my reply to Dave seemed like a character attack. You and others can form your own opinion as to Dave’s motives by simply reading his voluminous posts.

    Best regards

  19. What better signage rights? There is no actual sign designated that 29Prime is located there- unless you were told specifically where to go inside that building, you would have no idea that 29 prime is located there. It is just Unisys signage on that building …. where exactly is your argument for the actual photoshopping of the labels on the building?

    The fact is, you are trying to prove to people that you are some sort of legitimate company to try and negate all the negative attention about 29prime. That isn’t going to change the fact that when you google “29Prime”, google suggestions are “29Prime scam” and “29prime fraud”. instead of these cheap and dishonest ways to try and manage your bad press, why don’t you change your actual business practices to something more honest?

  20. As you say, the picture speaks for itself and photoshop makes it possible… the only problem is, if any non-existing company use photoshop to manipulate existing company-building pics to dazzle people/customers they have a own building ore they company exist…

  21. Hey Mike:

    I worked there. I know everything. Who should I go to, to shut these guys down?

  22. I neglected to add one other point about Milton’s arguments. In the comments above and in his comments from the earlier post Milton references the size of the space his business (or his many businesses names) occupy at the property.

    Milton’s comments are simply irrelevant and attempt to move the discussion off topic. Size is not directly relevant to building signage at all. A very small tenant within the building could obtain outdoors signage. If that were the case, one would expect that either the small space tenant paid for the signage, or the landlord gave them this right because of the prestige of the business name. Size of tenancy is entirely irrelevant.

    Milton is simply making an effort to divert the real issue.

    But I have a different suggestion for Milton, in the event he dawdles on removing those photoshopped versions of the building and some “heat seeking law suit” representative of signage rights zeros in on these deliberate misrepresentations.

    Milton could go to Unisys and arrange to pay them some big fee to give up their signage rights to the property.

    Hey Milton: Its only money

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