Visit Florida drops retained support

Visit Florida is scaling back its UK PR support following cutbacks to its budget forced by the recession.

Hills Balfour Synergy, which had retained the account for two years, will now work for Visit Florida on a project basis. The account will not be going out to pitch.

'We have had to cut back on our PR support,' said Visit Florida V-P of sales and marketing Eileen Forrow. 'We have had a US $10.5m cut in our funding, which has prompted the decision. Hills Balfour Synergy has done a fantastic job and we will hopefully be able to bring it back on board full-time if the situation changes.'

Florida is one of Britain's favourite long-haul destinations, according to travel trade body ABTA. However, Britons are increasingly opting to stay at home in order to save money during the recession.

Hills Balfour PR director Jonathan Sloan said: 'Everyone is going through tough times at the moment. Visit Florida has made big budget cuts and we hope to work with it on forthcoming projects.'

Separately, California Tourism has decided to stay with its retained agency Black Diamond following a competitive pitch. The government contract was put out to tender as part of its three-year compulsory pitch process.

Black Diamond will handle the PR for a further three years. It will also handle consumer advertising, travel trade representation and online.

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