San Diego promotes entertainment, culture of its downtown area

SAN DIEGO: The city's downtown is launching its first national marketing campaign to show that there's more to it than its world-famous zoo.

SAN DIEGO: The city's downtown is launching its first national marketing campaign to show that there's more to it than its world-famous zoo.

"The timing couldn't be better," said Jack Berkman, president and CEO of Berkman Communications, referring to San Diego's recent spate of unfavorable news.

The city is mired in a series of political and financial scandals involving everything from a $1.4 billion pension deficit to council members who were convicted of taking campaign contributions from a strip-club owner lobbying the city to revoke a law banning patrons from touching dancers.

While the Gaslamp Quarter Association - the business improvement organization for the downtown historic district - didn't launch the campaign in response to the scandals, Berkman agrees that the timing is fortuitous.

"I've talked to too many people who have no idea what is in our downtown other than nice weather and the zoo, and the zoo isn't that close to the downtown," said Berkman, whose agency is driving the campaign.

The effort will reach out to travel, lifestyle, in-flight, and other national media, with a strong focus on the West. Other components include online marketing and advertising.

The campaign will promote the arts, entertainment, and culture of San Diego's downtown, from its restaurants and shopping to nearby Petco Park, home of the Padres.

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