CFO Sink: $25 Million Comes at Critical Time
CONTACT: Jerri Franz or Jayme O’Rourke, 850-413-2842
TALLAHASSEE—Florida CFO Alex Sink today called for an immediate infusion of Northwest Florida-specific tourism ads, now that a $25 million tourism grant has been received from BP in response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill causing considerable visitor cancellations and hurting the Northwest Florida economy. She also expressed her frustration at today's Florida Cabinet meeting with how long it took to get the funds, since she first called for a global media campaign funded by BP on May 8.
"I met with a BP executive nearly three weeks ago and said that they needed to fund a global media campaign to counter the negative effects this spill is having on our coastal communities and small businesses – especially our Northwest Florida region, which counts on the summer months for their prime tourism season," said CFO Sink. "We should have had this money – and an effective ad campaign – weeks ago. Many Northwest Florida businesses rely on the 90 days from Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day to make their whole year."
CFO Sink also called for specific ads that target the Panhandle’s diverse regions, as opposed to Visit Florida’s broad “Visit Florida Live” campaign which was featured at this morning’s Cabinet meeting.
“These ads were generic and did not do enough to address potential visitors’ specific concerns, and I will be working with the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association and other tourism industry experts to ensure that any subsequent marketing presents an effective and convincing message,” added CFO Sink.
On Monday, CFO Sink wrote a letter to President Obama asking for a more coordinated Federal effort to oversee the Deepwater Horizon oil leak response, including the handling of the claims process.