Coca-Cola plans to donate $10,000 to the Mayor's Office of Cultural Economy, says Kel Villarrubia, senior public affairs director for Coca-Cola Refreshments New Orleans. The donation comes as a result of last month's illegal sidewalk advertising campaign in and around the French Quarter, which drew scorn from neighborhood residents.
The company had initially planned to make two donations — $5,000 each — to the French Quarter Business Association and the Downtown Development District. However, Villarrubia says that the company reconsidered and decided to go with the city office instead.
Villarrubia says he hopes the money, routed through the office, will be used for graffiti eradication efforts throughout the downtown area.
"We wanted it to be much broader than the French Quarter," Villarrubia says.
The Mayor's Office Of Cultural Economy was formed in 2010, and much of its work has focused on attracting the film industry to New Orleans. According to 2012 city budget documents, the office has five full-time employees and a general fund allocation of $789,000.