Governor Rick Scott and Enterprise Florida, the state’s economic development arm has introduced a new ad campaign for business with the intent to attract businesses to start or relocate to Florida. The intent is admirable, but its application is not without criticism in the areas of the logo and bid acceptance.
The new logo is the word Florida in green with an orange neck tie in place of the letter “i”. The slogan of the ad is The Perfect Climate for Business.
Some business women have expressed disappointment with the use of the neck tie. In an email to the Tampa Tribune, Beth Leytham, a Tampa based public relations executive said, “Perhaps they should have a tag line – Florida is the perfect climate for business if you’re a man.”
Katherin Yanes, an attorney and president of the Hillsborough Association for Women Lawyers said, “I don’t think a man’s neck tie represents all that Florida’s business community has to offer."
Pamela Rogan, the president of the Central Florida Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners responded, “I thought immediately that it set us back, all the work that we’ve done. It’s not that they have to make it pink or girlie, but maybe put a briefcase or something like an iphone or smartphone in there to represent business.”
Perhaps the most critical of the ad campaign is Sue Carlton, a columnist with the Tampa Bay Times. She said, “This next thought may seem as ancient to younger women as whalebone corsets, but to some of us who grew up with tales of important downtown clubs where businessmen dined and women were unwelcome, of big deals out on golf courses without pesky women in attendance, the message is not so subtle: businessmen welcome here, the rest of you, Eh!. Our state is fourth in the nation for women owned businesses with more than a half-million women’s companies contributing $77.4 billion to the economy. From 1997 to 2011, women owned businesses grew 73 percent compared to 50 percent nationally. There’s your target audience.”
Florida paid $180,000 to Jacksonville based, On Ideas, for brand design and campaign strategy; and $205,000 was paid to North Star Destination Strategies of Tennessee, the only non-Florida company who bid on the project. That bid was $76,000 higher than the next highest bid presented by ChappellRoberts of Tampa.
Terry Mooney, Chief Operating Officer at Evok Advertising in Orlando said, “I do think they could have easily found a qualified firm in Florida.” Colleen Chappell, President and CEO of Chappell Roberts said she would never bid for an Enterprise Florida project again.
With Governor Rick Scott’s motto of putting Florida to work, the choice of North Star Destination Strategies over ChappellRoberts has raised some eyebrows.
Regarding the logo and bid award, are we looking at issues of not inclusive, sexists, questionable awarding of a bid, or simply good business and much ado about nothing? What do you think?
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