SoFla’s New Oil Ads Aimed at Foreigners

Funded by B.P., new SoFla ads aim to attract without offending the Panhandle

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"Miami, on Florida's east coast. It is different here," the smooth voiced announcer says.

If you live in Germany, you'll here the same message on your TV in, of course, German. The same message will air in the U.K. The Greater Miami and the Beaches Convention and Visitor's Bureau is pulling out all the stops to convince the world that there is no oil, never  has been, and likely never will be oil fouling the area's beaches. 

Funded by money B.P. has funneled to the state to mitigate loss of tourism business due to the Gulf Oil Spill, the TV commercials have a subtle message without offending the Florida Panhandle tourism effort.

Foreign travelers are the cash cow for Miami-Dade tourism, the same for the Florida Keys, which also relies on the what is known as "the drive market." The Deep Horizon oil well might be all but contained, but the image of oil on the beaches on Florida's Gulf Coast splashes all the way to the Keys and to the east coast of South Florida.

"There is a worldwide opinion out there still that South Florida has oil or will get oil," Andy Newman, who manages the public relations effort for the Florida Keys said. " At a California trade show the other day, 150 people came up and expressed concern about the oil in the Keys. There is no oil in the Keys."

Newman is firing up a TV, print and radio advertising campaign to get the record straight, with all of the effort funded by cash provided by B.P.

The oil spill story is slowly fading from the front pages, but for tourism officials, their battle has only begun. They have to scoop up a lot of bad information and get it right for the sake of the tourism economy.

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