Saturday, August 15, 2009

Campaign seeks to lure Calif. businesses to Vegas

By Richard N. Velotta (contact)

Published Thursday, Aug. 6, 2009 | 12:49 p.m.

The Nevada Development Authority’s newest advertising campaign to lure Southern California businesses to Las Vegas says if they stay there they can “kiss their assets goodbye.”

The $1 million campaign, which breaks Friday in Southern California on television, radio and print, is the NDA’s latest attempt at enticing businesses to relocate.

Similar previous campaigns have drawn heated responses from California government officials and business organizations and the new campaign, which is edgier than those produced in the past, is expected to get under the skin of loyal Californians.

Los Angeles’ ABC affiliate, KABC, already has told the NDA that it would not run the new spots.

The campaign, developed by Las Vegas-based Shonkwiler Partners, incorporates two basic themes, an apple-to-apple comparison of California and Nevada business climate in which the California apple shrivels and rots and another that compares the effects of California legislation on businesses to the shenanigans of a monkey. The ads incorporate the tagline “Kiss your assets goodbye.”

The NDA sells Southern Nevada for its lower personal and business income taxes, reduced workers’ compensation rates and decreased operational expenses, including its friendlier regulatory environment.

The campaign hits at a time when California faces a $26.3 billion budget deficit projected to reach more than $42 billion next year. The state began issuing IOUs for a variety of payments it owes, but several banks stopped accepting them in mid-July. To lampoon the IOU development, the NDA is issuing IOUs promising a better business environment in Nevada whenever a company makes an inquiry. More here.

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