LANSING, MI: Michigan may axe Weber Shandwick and McCann from its Pure Michigan account as the state mulls ending public funding for the tourism campaign.
The PR and social media contract was worth $3,652,280 when the Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC) approved a two-year extension, according to Crain’s Detroit Business. Weber Shandwick has had the account since 2011.
The contracts for McCann, which the ad giant has had since 2006 when the campaign launched, are worth more than $33 million, divided between $25.5 million per year for tourism marketing and $7.8 million per year for business marketing.
In October, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) used her line-item veto power to slash 147 line items worth $947 million in total from Michigan’s 2020 budget, including Pure Michigan. After months of back and forth, the GOP-led state legislature sent a supplemental bill earlier this week for Whitmer to consider without any funding for the campaign.
Meanwhile, the MEDC will pay Weber Shandwick $73,100 from leftover funding to finish its PR and social media work, according to Bridge Magazine, a local nonprofit news outlet. If funds are not restored, Weber Shandwick will hand off responsibilities to the MEDC by the end of the year.
McCann will receive $667,500 for marketing and ad services as well through the end of the year.
Otie McKinley, media and comms manager for MEDC, said on Friday via email that Travel Michigan will continue to "evaluate the optimal mix of marketing activities" and "position [the state] as a world-class, four-season tourism destination."
"With the help of our tourism partners statewide, we will leverage our ever-growing social media community of 2.5 million to continue to share the story of our great state," he added.
Weber Shandwick and McCann referred comment to their client, MEDC. Interpublic Group wasn’t immediately available for comment.