County selects new advertising agency

The Board of County Commissioners chose a new company Thursday, Sept. 22, to manage marketing, advertising and public relations for tourism.

Paradise Advertising of St. Petersburg was selected over the county’s previous company Davis, South, Barnette and Patrick Advertising and Public Relations (DSBP).

DSBP has managed the county’s tourism marketing since 2013.

The selection ran counter to the Tourist Development Council board’s vote in favor of DSBP. The TDC heard presentations from the three finalists Sept. 1 and voted to stay with DSBP and ranked Paradise as the second choice.

Monday, the BOCC was presented with a recommendation by Tourist Development Director Julie Morgan asking that Paradise be chosen over the TDC’s voted choice.

The recommendation stated that Morgan met with Economic Development Director Shannon Ogletree and Public Information Officer Brandi Whitehurst to discuss the decision after the TDC vote. The three came to the conclusion that Paradise deserved a higher ranking due to their experience and video-capabilities.

Commissioner Williamson, who voted with the TDC on the initial ranking, said he was in favor of choosing Paradise during Thursday’s BOCC meeting.

Paradise will take over marketing the county to potential visitors Oct. 1.

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