Maine shops for full-service marketing agency partner

A contract start date of February 1 is anticipated and would tentatively run through December 31, 2017, with two further two-year options to renew through 2021, according to an RFP.

Image via  miquitos / Flickr; used under the Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license. Cropped from original
Image via miquitos / Flickr; used under the Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license. Cropped from original

AUGUSTA, ME: Maine is in the market for a full-service marketing agency for promotional support in the US and abroad.

Maine's Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of Tourism is looking for an agency partner to support state tourism campaigns such as "The Maine Thing," with additional assistance for its Film Office, which seeks to "attract on-location filming of movies, advertisements and videos in the state," according to an RFP released last week.

The tourism office is targeting key audiences east of the Mississippi River in the US, and Ontario, Quebec, and the Maritimes in Canada, as stated in the document. Internationally, the UK and Germany "are core markets of Discover New England," which takes a lead role on marketing in those countries.

A contract start date of February 1 is anticipated and would tentatively run through December 31, 2017, with two further two-year options to renew through 2021, according to the RFP.

Services may include media and planning and buying, development and production of marketing materials, website development and content management, joint marketing partnerships, consumer events and travel shows, industry outreach and education, strategic planning, and special projects.

Questions regarding the RFP are due by Friday and proposals are due December 22. An expected contract budget was not disclosed in the RFP, but as of 2013 "tourism contributed over $5.2 billion in direct expenditures and supported 88,585 jobs," according to the Visit Maine five-year strategic plan.

A state representative was not immediately available for comment.

In 2013 the state awarded a one-year contract to Dilenschneider Group for domestic and international marketing services. At the time, the firm was a new hire for the state, winning over then-incumbent Nancy Marshall Communications. The firm’s contract ended in 2014.

Last October, a bid for PR services was released with an intended contract to run through September of this year. BVK features Visit Maine on its company website but it was not immediately clear whether the firm and the state's tourism office are still working together.

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