Panama City Launches a Creative Agency Review

By Erik Oster 

The Panama City Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau launched a creative review seeking an agency to help strengthen marketing, advertising, media buying and planning for year-round tourism as the destination hopes to rely less heavily on travel-focused periods such as spring break, AdAge reports today.

Visit Panama City Beach President and CEO Dan Rowe told the publication that Fahlgren Mortine, which has held the account since late 2009, plans to defend in the review. RFQ responses will be due by July 25, as the Panama City Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau intends to wrap up the review and bring on a new agency for the October 1 start to its new fiscal year, for which it has allotted a $5 million advertising budget. 

“Our organization has been focused really on increasing visitation 12 months out of the year and to really strengthen tourism on a year-round basis so we’re not as dependent on particular times,” Rowe said, adding that the goal is to have local businesses rely less on spring break specifically.


New laws place last summer included such drastic changes as forbidding alcohol on city beaches and ending the sale of alcoholic products two hours earlier each night. These laws have been directly tied to a 50-85 percent decrease in revenue at area businesses this March. They were enacted in response to a series of crimes that occurred the previous spring, when three men were charged with sexual assault and a shooting occurred at a house party. It’s not hard to see why the city is looking to move away from its association with the spring break “brand,” but now the destination faces another obstacle in the rise of Zika. Rowe said the tourism board is monitoring the issue but assured AdAge that no one is “panicked.”

The Panama City Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau is looking for a new agency partner that can micro-target audiences with specific digital and mobile content in an attempt to increase year-round tourism.

[Image via WTVY 4]