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Too Few Takers for Bayou Tourism

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Only 2 Competitors Answer the Bell in Louisiana's $10 Mil. Review
NEW ORLEANS--Only two agency contenders have stepped up to the plate to contend for the $10 million annual Louisiana tourism advertising account.
Incumbent Peter A. Mayer of New Orleans, which has held the account since its inception in 1993, is bringing a team of partners with it to defend the business that has grown 20 percent annually in the last three years. Making a run against Mayer is Montgomery Stire & Partners, also located in New Orleans.
Both shops make their final 90-minute presentations this week. The one-year contract has two renewal options. A decision is expected within two to three weeks.
Mayer is subcontracting with in-state shops Graham Group of Lafayette, Judy Williams Advertising in Shreveport, Calzone Advertising of Lafayette and G.Mc.&Co. in New Orleans. MS&P is leading a group that includes Multi-Image Resource Group and Capital Communications, both of New Orleans. Frank Stire, MS&P principal, said his shop is a natural candidate to handle the account because of its 11 years of experience handling New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corp.
Officials with the Louisiana Culture, Recreation and Tourism Department in Baton Rouge, La., expressed some surprise at the lack of response. Requests for proposals were forwarded to nearly a dozen other Louisiana agencies in March, said Phil Jones, director of the state department.
"We were surprised that we didn't end up with more responses," said Jones, even though he admitted out-of-state agencies were not encouraged to participate. "Perhaps there's a general awareness that Mayer has done a very good job and we are very pleased with them.
"It's clear the advertising campaign that we're engaged in is working well," he added. "The numbers tell the story, and we expect this year to be better."
Candidates sitting this one out include Logan Marketing & Communications and Zehnder Communications, both in New Orleans.