By LARRY KANTER
Let the marketing begin.
Armed with a brand new nickname the “Digital Coast” L.A.’s multimedia companies say they’re ready to do battle with such current high-tech hotbeds as Northern California, Seattle and New York City for the title of technology capital of the world.
” ‘Digital Coast’ will become synonymous with what’s really happening in the new-media industry,” predicted Kevin Wall, chief executive of the Web development firm BoxTop and chairman of the committee that decided upon the moniker.
Local entrepreneurs and economic development officials have long complained that despite being home to thriving technology and multimedia sectors, L.A. gets only a fraction of the attention that other regions receive. The new nickname is designed to correct that, by collecting L.A.’s diverse collection of software, hardware, digital entertainment and new-media companies beneath a single brand identity.
“I think it works,” said David W. Stewart, a professor of marketing at USC. “It’s descriptive, just as Silicon Valley is descriptive.”
The name “Tech Coast” had been the front-runner, until it was discovered that the term already was trademarked by a pair of technology boosters in Orange County.
Other contenders included Silicon Beach, Siliwood, Silicon Southland and URLA the latter a play on URL (for Uniform Resource Locater, the term for Internet addresses.)
Backers of the branding effort say it will help L.A. attract new talent, business activity and venture capital funding to the region. But that only will happen if the name catches on outside the L.A. area, said Jerry Kalman, executive vice president of The Bohle Co., a Century City public relations firm that specializes in high-tech companies.
“It’s going to take considerable effort for it to work,” said Kalman. “If the media doesn’t accept it, it’s going to be a very hollow gesture.”
At least one outsider remains skeptical.
“It sounds contrived and generated by a marketing committee,” said Andrew Leonard, who covers technology for the San Francisco-based online magazine, Salon. “Venture capital people are smart enough to know where to invest their money without hearing a catchy marketing campaign.”name/kanter/1stjc/mark2nd
“It sounds contrived and generated by a marketing committee,” said Andrew Leonard, who covers technology for the San Francisco-based online magazine, Salon. “Venture capital people are smart enough to know where to invest their money without hearing a catchy marketing campaign.”