Floridians Not Jumping Into Pool

Miami-Dade County’s Collection of Ad Talent Turns Off Locals
ATLANTA–Advertising agencies located throughout the Miami-Dade County region are complaining that local government is transforming what could have been a plum account into a lemon.
For the first time, Dade County (Fla.) officials will recruit area shops to create a pool of talent for the marketing and advertising of each branch of regional government. County government sources estimated the account has a cumulative worth of $1.5 million.
The ultimate value will be considerably less for whichever shop is invited to participate. According to several agencies in the Miami area, local authorities are planning to assemble up to a dozen pre-approved firms, from which each government department will be able to choose a shop for any given project.
A selection committee will hear pitches from agencies which make the initial cut after completing an extensive application. At least one agency must be owned by a woman and another by an African American. There is no provision that a Hispanic-owned business must be included, even though Miami’s population is nearly 60 percent Latino.
Dade County contracting officer Leo Moresma deferred all questions to a one-page statement that had not been sent to Adweek by press time late last week. Trenae Floyd in the contracting office said “a cone of silence” had descended around the review process.
Sources said 22 agencies have applied to the county, which stopped accepting applications Jan. 6.
Several agency heads, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the county ad business was not worth their time or effort.
“That’s a lot of work for not necessarily a whole lot of business,” said one Miami agency president. “They’ve subdivided it into a whole lot of different agencies, so even once you’re in, you still have to go through the process again and again.”
Even the county’s guarantee that at least one selected agency would be owned by a woman or women was not sufficient to interest one female chief executive officer.
“It’s going to be low-ball contracts all the way,” she sniffed. “People don’t realize you’re going to get what you pay for.”