Tourism Incumbents Hold On

Two incumbents triumphed last week in separate reviews for the Oklahoma and New Mexico state tour-ism accounts.

Ackerman-Mc-Queen faced virtually no opposition in its bid to retain the business of the Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation De-partment. The Ok-lahoma City agency has held the account for 10 years.

Oklahoma’s request for proposal did not attract in-state interest. Only one agency—Ocean Media of Huntington Beach, Calif.—submitted an unsolicited, eleventh-hour bid.

“We considered rebidding, but the chances of getting more responses [were small],” said a spokesperson for the state. “Ackerman-McQueen was deemed the best value for the state.”

The Oklahoma account is budgeted at $4 million for the first year, with three possible one-year extensions.

In Albuquer-que, N.M., however, Rick Johnson & Co. held off a number of rivals to extend its eight-year run on the New Mexico tourism business. Other finalists for the state account included McKee Wallwork Henderson Advertising and Kilmer & Kilmer, both in Albuquerque, and Impressions Advertising of Santa Fe, N.M.

New Mexico’s year-to-year tourism contract can be renewed up to four times, with an annual media budget of $3 million.

“The proposals were highly creative and highly competitive, but Rick Johnson & Co. went above and beyond the scope of the proposal,” said department of tourism secretary Janet Green in a public statement.

“The group began their research months in advance, showing us market studies and trend analyses,” she said.

The win was an important one for Johnson, which earlier this year lost one of its other major tourism accounts—the six-figure Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau—to McKee.

The New Mexico award is subject to contract negotiations and approval by the state department of finance.