The saga of the $4.6 million San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau advertising account has finally ended with victory for Bromley Communications.
"The city voted that it was time for change and we won based on our marketing expertise," said the winning agency's chairman, Ernest Bromley.
The city council's vote brought the 18-year tenure of The Center for the Persuasive Arts, formerly The Atkins Agency, to an end.
Only two other San Antonio shops, Bromley and Inventiva, pitched the account. After site visits and presentations in June, the review committee scored The Center for Persuasive Arts highest on a 100-point scale, but only one-half point more than Bromley. Inventiva was a distant third.
The committee decided to look at the scoring in different ways to see if a more decisive result could be obtained. These deliberations resulted in Bromley Communications coming out ahead, again by only a narrow margin. In a secret vote among committee members, Bromley won 13 to 3. Inventiva failed to register a vote.
The review committee recommended that Bromley be awarded the contract. San Antonio Mayor Howard Peak then intervened to postpone a council vote, but failed to achieve support for a new review.
In the meantime, Inventiva withdrew from the contest to join forces with Bromley.
The final showdown was at last Thursday's council meeting, where both contestants gave 30-minute presentations. The council then voted 7-4 in Bromley's favor.