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Visit Florida Restarts Review

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After putting its re-view on hold for six months following Sept. 11, Visit Florida has named four finalists.

According to spokesman Tom Flanigan at the Tallahassee, Fla.-based client, the Florida agencies in conten-tion are incumbent Fahlgren in Tampa, Yesawich, Pepperdine & Brown in Orlando, Crispin Porter + Bogusky in Miami and St. John & Partners in Jacksonville.

Annual billings are estimated at $10 million.

A seven-member task force led by client advertising manager Jeanne Drewes will hear oral presentations the first week of June. The committee will deliver its recommendation to Visit Florida's board at its June 18 meeting.

Finalists are expected to bring a "wide variety of disciplines and expertise to the on-going marketing of Florida as a destination," said Flanigan. Agencies are not expected to develop work that relates to terrorism-related declines in tourism.

The Florida legislature passed a stimulus package in December that included a one-time $20 million allocation for additional tourism advertising. That money, matched by cooperative initiatives with area industries, targeted the "drive market." Flanigan said car visitors are up 8 percent since January.