Rep. Robert Nardolillo III blasts Governor Raimondo over new tourism campaign
STATE HOUSE — Representative Robert Nardolillo III (R-District 28 Coventry) is criticizing the state’s plan to launch a new tourism campaign, expected to cost Rhode Island taxpayers an additional $4.3 million, after wasting $5 million on the same project last year.
Representative Nardolillo is outraged at Rhode Island Commerce Corporation’s announcement on Monday, that it has chosen four vendors to manage its new tourism and business attraction campaign, which is projected to cost hardworking taxpayers an additional $4.3 million for the next 12-month cycle.
According to the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, two Providence-based firms have been selected to get the money this go-around. RDW Group will get $1.7 million for strategic planning and paid media buying and NAIL Communications will received $1.4 million for both tourism and business attraction campaigns. MMGY Global out of New York will receive $473,000 to handle the public relations portion of the tourism campaign.
“This is simple math. We’re essentially paying double the money for the same project, because the Governor’s office was too incompetent to get it right the first time. The state of Rhode Island is pulling the wool over the eyes of Rhode Island taxpayers with this one,” stated Representative Nardolillo.
“Last March, the state rolled out its $5 million tourism campaign which became a national joke. Rhode Islanders despised the sail boat image on the logo, as well as a ridiculous “Cooler & Warmer” tag line which no one understood. There was also a highly-produced video containing images of Iceland. Governor Raimondo wouldn’t take responsibility for it and passed the buck to the vendors, blaming them. She blamed everyone else, except her own blundering team at the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, but it’s costing Rhode Islanders dearly.”
Representative Nardolillo added, “Let’s also not forget, rather than give local talent a chance for a good-paying job in Rhode Island’s tourism campaign, the Governor chose to tap two out of three out-of-state firms to brand and promote Rhode Island. A fourth grader could tell you, it’s better to have Rhode Islanders, who know and love our state, create innovate ways to promote our state’s treasures to the nation and the world. We have the Rhode Island School of Design for God’s sake. Exceptional talent is right here at our fingertips, and our Governor let the opportunity slide. The Governor is so focused on her political career and hooking national ties, that she’s leaving Rhode Islanders in the dust and saddling them with a big bill.”
For more information, contact:
Raina C. Smith, House Minority Office
State House Room 106
Providence, RI 02903