Judy Foote, Opposition Critic for Business and MHA for the District of Grand
Bank, is asking Business Minister Kevin O’Brien to release the budget and
costs of the ongoing public relations campaign for television commercials,
brochures and print advertising related to the new provincial brand.
our new provincial brand is so great, why is government spending so much
money on a public relations campaign trying to convince our own people of
its merit?" asked Ms. Foote. "This branding initiative is suppose to attract
people, investment and recognition from outside our province. If government
is having such a difficult time explaining the new brand to our own people,
it is obvious it is not having the desired effect.
"Everyday we are seeing ads on television and in newspapers, and
receiving brochures in our mailboxes. This approach from a government who
stated emphatically that they would not waste taxpayers money on public
relations activities. I question how much money government has budgeted to
sell this message here at home. With over $1 million being spent only on the
development of the brand, it certainly appears that the public relations
blitz is going to cost much more.
"From the numerous calls, letters and e-mails we have received in our
office, I feel this new brand has already been given a thumbs down by the
people of the province. If you have to educate your own people on their
brand, it certainly will not have the desired impact worldwide. It is
unfortunate that so much money was invested in this project without any
public consultation or input before it was released.
"In the spirit of openness and transparency, I am calling on government
to release the figures related to the public relations campaign for this new
brand. The people of the province can then make up their own minds whether
this new brand is worth the money that is being spent."