Leslie, Rawle Murdy Share S.C. Tourism

ATLANTA The South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism is keeping its $6 million ad account in the state, tapping the Leslie Agency in Greenville and Rawle Murdy in Charleston to handle the business, the client said.

The two independents bested four other, undisclosed shops for the work. The Leslie Agency, the incumbent on the business, will handle creative and produce the state’s visitors guide. (The shop has been involved with South Carolina’s tourism account since 1979.) Rawle Murdy will provide media strategy and buying.

The contract is effective until the end of the state’s fiscal year on June 30, 2006. It also provides for as many as three one-year extensions after that date.

This is the first time that South Carolina has divided the account into two parts. The change elicited competitive pricing that resulted in substantial savings, which will be used to increase the amount of advertising, the state said.

South Carolina spent about $5 million on advertising for tourism last year, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.