Alabama's Bureau of Tourism and Travel has awarded its marketing and advertising business to Lewis Communications.
"Lewis has a proven history of promoting Alabama as a great business location," said Mark Berson, director of the state's Bureau of Tourism and Travel.
The Birmingham, Ala., agency bested crosstown incumbent Barney, Townsend & Patrick and O2 Ideas for the $2.3 million annual state account.
"Our agency never had it before but always wanted it," said Lewis president Bill Norris. "We just kept pitching until they couldn't say no."
The campaign kicks off this month with radio, print, outdoor and Internet messages targeting Atlanta, New Orleans, Memphis and Nashville, Tenn., and second-tier cities within 300 miles of Alabama. A television component kicks off later in the summer.
Atlanta historically accounts for more than 12 percent of all Alabama tourism business.
Lewis creative director Spencer Till will link his work to the ongoing "Unforgettable Alabama" campaign, showcasing the state's civil rights history as well as its popular beaches along the Gulf Coast.
"We want to give people ideas for trips no more than two or three hours from their home cities," said Till.
Elsewhere, the South Carolina review pitting incumbent Leslie Advertising against three regional rivals for that state's tourism account is about to be decided.
"The presentations have all finished," said Lou Fontana, South Carolina's director of communications for tourism.