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Florida State University wins regional National Student Advertising Competition

Florida State University’s Arrowhead Advertising team won the 4th District American Advertising Federation’s National Student Advertising Competition in Tampa on April 30th. This is the fourth year in a row and seventh time in the last ten years that FSU has won the competition to represent the 4thDistrict in the national competition.

Each year, a corporate sponsor provides a case study with a particular advertising challenge. Students across the country research the client and its competition to develop a comprehensive advertising and communications campaign to meet the objectives. A panel of judges scores the team’s 32-page plans book and a 20-minute live presentation.

The 2010 corporate sponsor is State Farm. Their challenge was to create a campaign to position State Farm as a contemporary brand to 18-25 year old adults who are responsible for 50% or more of their own living expenses. The goal is to increase auto and renter policies within this segment.

In addition to winning the overall competition, the FSU team also took honors for best research, best strategy, best creative and best question and answer session. Other team winners include University of Miami (2nd place), Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale (3rd place) and University of South Florida (4th place).

The Arrowhead Advertising team will compete in the national competition at the American Advertising Federation’s annual conference in Orlando on June 10-11.

If you’re going to the conference or are in the Orlando area, I encourage you to watch the presentations. I guarantee you’ll walk away inspired and if you’re in advertising, you’ll start watching over your shoulder for the next generation of ad pros! And if you’re interested in what goes on behind the scenes, there is a rumor the NSAC will be turned into a reality show.

Congratulations Arrowhead – way to carry on the legacy. I’m sure you’ll represent the 4th District well. FSU turns out some pretty great advertising grads… if I do say so myself 🙂

Tampa Bay public relations

Creativity can solve anything!

The poor people at Art & Copy… I’ve been stalking them!  I saw this trailer online for the movie a couple months ago, and cannot wait to see it.

Some of the industry’s most interesting people are featured, including my hero, the legend, Mary Wells Lawrence.

You can read the synopsis here, but the trailer says it all. And stay tuned… they’ll agree eventually to have a screening in Tampa Bay just to shut me up!

Tampa Bay public relations

Governor Crist, I hope you’re right.

StaffI was selected as one of ten business leaders to meet with Governor Charlie Crist at the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce this morning to discuss our businesses, what we’re seeing in the marketplace, and what the state can do (or stop doing) to make it better for us.

It was a brief meeting, so there wasn’t time for extensive discussions, but I was impressed with the governor’s understanding of the issues we are facing and the resources that are already available from the state to support us. He rattled off web sites for a variety of tools and information, along with real estate sales statistics and information about Florida’s piece of the federal stimulus plan.

I mentioned my concern about the legislature repealing the sales tax exemption for advertising services and he said, “I doubt that will happen.”  I replied, “I hope you’re right.”

Joel Giles from Carlton Fields asked the Governor about Florida losing some of its appeal with rising property tax and insurance costs, and people selecting other southeastern states to put down roots.  Citing real estate statistics and a couple anectdotes, he concluded his answer by clutching his head and saying, “people are going to wonder why they didn’t take advantage of this market, with the deals available out there. If I had the money to invest, I’d buy some real estate right now, another condo or something.”  Those other states are nice, but they still aren’t Florida.

Indeed.

Ginger

Tampa Bay public relations

Open letter to Florida Legislature: Do not repeal ad tax exemption

I wrote the following letter to Representative Michael Scionti, encouraging him and his colleagues to keep the tax exemption for advertising services.  While it could appear to be a simple case of self-preservation, I honestly believe that this would be detrimental to Florida businesses. If you agree, write a letter. If you disagree, well… don’t.

 Representative Scionti,

 As the owner and president of a Florida marketing agency, I am writing to respectfully request that you do not repeal the tax exemption language defining “certain advertising services” in Florida Statutes Section 212.08(7)(vv).

 Even in the current economic environment, Pinstripe is still experiencing growth, creating jobs and buying products and services in our community.  By repealing this language, it would put me and all Florida agencies at a competitive disadvantage. We live in an electronic age, and our clients can very easily select an agency from anywhere in the country or the world, and receive the same quality services.

 My clients are not in a position to increase their marketing budgets, therefore the amount available to spend on the cost of goods and services will only decrease by 7% to cover the additional costs, if I am able to retain the account at all. With 7% less marketing, they will experience fewer sales, resulting in fewer jobs, and ultimately less tax revenue for the state.

 It is important to note that we continue to collect and pay sales tax for printed materials, promotional items, trade show signage, direct marketing materials and other tangible goods. If we lose these clients, then the tax revenue for the hard items will also be lost.

 Advertising fuels Florida’s economy and is a legitimate and important element of doing business. Like legal services, accounting services, architectural services, engineering services, and other professional services, advertising and marketing services should continue to be exempt from sales tax.

 I welcome a conversation with you to discuss the issue and illustrate the irreparable damage the repealment of this language could do to my agency, my family, and the families of my employees.

Best regards,

Ginger Reichl
President, Pinstripe Marketing

Tampa Bay public relations

Florida Legislature is hungry and advertising looks mighty tasty

I received an email today from the 4th District American Advertising Federation’s lobbyist with a heads-up that the House Finance and Tax Committee just released a list of 51 specific sales tax exemptions they plan to “discuss” for potential review during this year’s legislative session.

There are several items on the list that directly affect the advertising industry, and thus, every business in the state.

Take a look at the list here: http://www.4aaf.com/pdf/SalesTaxExemption2009.pdf

We’ve been down this road before, but this is definitely an issue we are going to watch.

Tampa Bay public relations