–Dan Kelly, Attorney
I recently traveled to Omaha and noticed the following billboard:
For those not familiar with these companies, Qwest Communications is a telecommunications company that services many western states. Cox Communications is another relatively large telecommunications company. Both serve the Omaha area. The billboard is an example of nominative fair use, which Steve explained here.
While this is largely unremarkable, the billboard’s value derives from the three most important things in business: location, location, location. You see, Omaha is home to the Qwest Center, which is a convention center and arena. Upon exiting this door of the Qwest Center, patrons are looking due West — directly at this Cox billboard about two blocks away. The billboard employs a double meaning to make a pun and suggestion to patrons leaving the Qwest Center — something that this billboard can only achieve in this location (or outside of Qwest Field in Seattle or Qwest Arena in Boise, but I’m not sure Cox provides services in these areas). A clever one-upping in the “arena” of naming rights!