The city of Mayo in North Florida temporarily changes its name to "Miracle Whip". As you can imagine, this is part of a marketing campaign by Miracle Whip Maker Kaft Heinz, which purportedly pays the city somewhere between $ 15,000 and $ 25,000 for the name change.
As far as that goes, this is not an unusual story. IHOP, the International House of Pancakes, temporarily became IHOB, the International House of Burgers, for mixed reviews. Hot Springs, New Mexico changed its name to "Truth or Consequences" to bring the then popular game show to the city. Topeka, Kansas tried the same approach and temporarily changed its name to Google, hoping the search giant would bring high-speed Internet, but it did not. North Tarrytown, New York, even changed its name to Sleepy Hollow just to make sure people knew it was the backdrop to Washington Irving's headless rider story.
But there is a big difference. None of these other cities claimed to be tempted to play a trick on 1
The idea of the prank is that video makers from Miracle Whip record the reactions of city dwellers when they realize that their street signs and the water tower are being changed to the new name. They also want to record what happens when people in the city are asked to give up mayonnaise they may have in their homes, presumably to be replaced by miracle whip.
How exactly did the city officials expect to deceive 1,232 people? At first they held a closed meeting with Kraft Heinz, where they worked out the details of the surprise. Ann Murphy, the mayor, tried with the illusion that the name change was permanent to stay with the Associated Press: "We will not be boring any old Mayo anymore, we will be Miracle Whip, which I think will definitely put us on the map . "(In the event that you wonder, the city got its original name from Confederate Colonel James Mayo.)
Unfortunately for the city's would-be villain, Linda Cone, town clerk, was more readily available and gave that to reporters, yup, the Name change is temporary and city officials attempted to deceive the residents for at least a few days by pretending that it was permanent. But in a city with just over 1,200 people, she added, everyone knows everyone and it's not easy to keep a secret. "It was kind of difficult to keep everything locked up."
Nothing is hushed up anymore. All residents who may have been deceived are probably joking since the story went beyond the Associated Press and appeared in [TampaBayTimes and on the website of a local television station.
So that seems to be, except for one thing. These closed meeting city officials held with force Heinz to plan their prank? It may have been illegal under Florida's Sunshine Law, which guarantees open access to most government meetings.
"If all this is a big joke to the residents, I expect they have probably violated the law to enforce it." Barbara Petersen, president of the First Amendment Foundation in Tallahassee, told the Associated Press. "I hate to be Debbie Downer, but seriously, I do not think they thought it through."