MWW wins $25m New Jersey tourism marketing pact

TRENTON, NJ: The state of New Jersey has selected MWW to convey to national and local audiences that it is "open for business" despite the catastrophic damage Hurricane Sandy caused last year. The contract is worth $25 million.

TRENTON, NJ:  The state of New Jersey has selected MWW to convey to national and local audiences that it is “open for business” despite the catastrophic damage Hurricane Sandy caused last year. The contract is worth $25 million.

The forthcoming campaign will seek to soothe vacationers' worries by pointing out that the state's shore areas are ready, or will be ready, for the next three summers and that businesses are operational, according to the RFP for the contract. The effort will also encourage New Jerseyans and visitors to shop local.

A core part of MWW's first year of work will be to design and implement a new branding message for the state to achieve these goals. The initiative will largely target the East Coast, the mid-Atlantic region, and possibly California, because these are the regions from which New Jersey receives most of its visitors, according to the RFP.

The scope of work includes a promotional plan and PR and advertising content that spans print, radio, TV, and the Internet.

New Jersey tourism is a $38 billion industry, supporting nearly 25% of private-sector employees in the state in 2011. It is estimated that the state's tourism industry will lose $950 million in the third quarter of this year, 2.5% of the industry's annual revenue, according to the RFP.

The one-year contract has two one-year options subject to funding availability. Its budget came from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development's Community Development Block Grant program.

A NJ Treasury Department representative confirmed MWW's selection and scope of work.  The agency deferred comment about the contract to state officials.

Just days before the state was hit by Hurricane Sandy last year, New Jersey officials chose travel-marketing firm Dana Communications to promote it as a tourism destination. That contract was worth $4.7 million.

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