TRAVELING BILLBOARD

State tourism marketing is no vacation, primarily because there are 49 competitors vying for the same consumers. To reward those whodo it particularly well, the National Council of State Tourism Directors presents its Mercury Award.

The latest winner is Rick Johnson & Co. of Albuquerque, N.M., which uses a 27-foot recreational vehicle named Moby VIC on behalf of the New Mexico Department of Tourism.

The mobile visitors information center and traveling billboard displays scenes of the Land of Enchantment. It began cruising through New Mexico and Texas in May 2001 and hasn’t stopped since.

“It’s creatively something that catches your eye, and I think it’s a good use of marketing dollars,” said agency senior account executive Kris Phillips. “The department purchased the RV to get to different events and figured why not use it for more than one purpose.”