New Jersey is set to award a marketing contract worth up to $25M to East Rutherford-based MWW as the Garden State plans to use federal funds to pitch its comeback from Hurricane Sandy to tourists.
Gov. Chris Christie last month proposed in the state's federal disaster recovery plan to allocate the PR funds from its $1.8B federal allotment to promote the state's ravaged Jersey Shore region. The proposal required a federal waiver, which was granted for two years, to spend the money on marketing.
The campaign for 2013 will include advertising, outreach, sponsorships, events and other PR efforts to stabilize or increase tourism revenues and employment in areas impacted by the October 2012 storm. The message of the campaign includes, "The Jersey Shore is recovering or open, and visitors are welcome," according to the disaster plan.
MWW's pact will be with the NJ Economic Development Authority, following an RFQ process.
State Assemblyman Chris Brown, who co-sponsored a bill in the state legislature to spend $20M for a marketing push, said misperceptions of the storm's devastation could drag down New Jersey's crucial $36B tourism industry. "This money will allow us to talk about the Jersey Shore rather than Al Roker, who still thinks Atlantic City’s Boardwalk is floating in the ocean," Brown said last month.
The state's current tourism marketing budget is about $9M. Last year it awarded advertising duties for that account to Dana Communications but it pulled the plug on a review for its PR account in early March.
Edelman separately works on behalf of Atlantic City tourism.