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Maine Initiates Tourism Search

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BOSTON-The Maine Department of Economic & Community Development has chosen finalists for a $1.8 million tourism ad assignment.
Competing for the account, which comes up for review at regular intervals, are incumbent Swardlick Marketing, PerryBanksKemp and Hauptman & Partners, all Portland, Maine, sources said. Swardlick, which has handled the business since 1994, is pitching with destination marketing specialist AMW, a Toronto-based agency that handles tourism for the province of Ontario, sources said.
The review questionnaire issued by the state generated about a half-dozen responses, according to a representative at the tourism office. Finalists have been selected but the state will not confirm the agencies involved until the selection process is completed in mid-June, the representative said.
Written materials are due June 1. Finalists will make oral presentations to tourism officials on June 3.
Up for grabs is a one-year contract with a pair of single-year renewals, scheduled to commence on July 1.
Swardlick earlier this year rolled out a television and print campaign for the state using the tagline, "The Maine Attraction." Running mainly in the New York market, the effort targeted young travelers interested in outdoor activities and more mature vacationers who prefer antique shopping and small-town charm.
Prior to Swardlick, S.T. Vreeland Advertising in Yarmouth, Maine, worked on the assignment for three years. Agency official Midge Vreeland said her shop chose not to participate in the current competition.