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Tourism, Trade on Georgia's Mind

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The Georgia Department of Industry, Trade and Tour-ism is conducting a mandated review for its $5 million account.

According to the request for proposal, the department is looking for an agency or team of agencies to provide ad services for its four divisions: economic development, international trade, tourism, and the film and video office. Additional responsibilities encompass public relations support.

It is likely that eight-year incumbent J. Walter Thompson will de-fend. Officials at the Atlanta agency could not be reached for comment.

"It's not a piece of business that bounces around," said one source close to the account. "The state might want to mix up the team, but they tend to be loyal."

The majority of work over the last four years had shifted from tourism efforts to print and collateral for the economic development and international trade divisions, said JWT creative director Monte Wyne.

"We've also created a campaign called "Joe Locations" for the film and video office," he said.

Credit for the shift in marketing dollars was given to departmental commissioner R.K. Sehgal.

"Tourism tends to get the lion's share," said Gregg Torre, division director for film and video. "But since R.K. came into the chair, our profile has been raised."

Georgia ranks among the top 10 film production destinations in North America, said Torre.

Proposals are due May 14. Finalists will be chosen May 24. A decision is expected by June 29.