White Leads ‘Bama Tourism to Luckie

ATLANTA Luckie & Co. has won the Alabama tourism account, the client confirmed.

The independent shop prevailed over co-finalist The Intermark Group, both of Birmingham. Two other Birmingham agencies, incumbent Lewis Communications and O2 Ideas, were eliminated in an earlier round.

According to state director of tourism Lee Sentell, it was the agency’s newest hire, executive creative director Brad White, and his travel and tourism marketing experience that tipped the scales in favor of Luckie.

White, who joined the shop in January from Temerlin McClain in Irving, Texas, brought a background in Texas tourism and American Airlines to the table. Luckie also has a roster of existing clients that the state bureau of tourism might be able to partner with, Sentell said. These include Alabama Power’s media buying, Bama Foods and Little Debbie Snack Cakes.

Alabama will launch a statewide promotion from Memorial Day through July 4. The series of weekend walking tours throughout the state is intended to draw attention to 30 historic downtowns and districts. “We picked early summer so that people who come in later in the year can take the tours on their own,” said Sentell.

Agency president Tom Luckie estimated tourism is worth $6 billion annually to Alabama.

The tourism initiative, led in part by Alabama First Lady Patsy Riley, is pegged at $4 million.

Comparing the business to a packaged-goods account, Luckie said, “It’s a great value. If we can get folks to try it, they’ll come back.”