Should Cities Keep Their Tourism And Economic Development Accounts Local?

Over at the Richmond, VA portal of, there’s an interesting discussion over the city of Richmond’s decision to give its Department of Economic and Community Development account to Atlas Advertising in Denver.

Here’s the gist of the argument:

A visit to the Atlas Advertising website shows that they specialize in economic development and have worked for “90+ communities in six countries and 35+ states.” What’s more, they say they’ve developed off-the-shelf software that not only rebrands communities, but also seeks out sources of new business, hooks them up with local businesses, is customizable for each community’s brand identity and can go live within 60 days.

So if you were on the selection panel, you saw that, you were aware how pitifully little advertising $100,000 buys you, and felt a sense of responsibility to make the most of the taxpayers’ limited dollars, what choice would you make?

I understand the need for agencies who specialize in the field of tourism and economic development, and can appreciate when an outsider’s perspective is brought in. But I’m also a believer in keeping that kind of work in a hometown. Not sure how the search process worked in Richmond, but it’s hard to think the local shops couldn’t handle the workload. You can also read more courtesy of the Richmond Times-Dispatch.



About Dan Goldgeier

Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. Dan is also a columnist for and the author of View From The Cheap Seats and Killer Executions and Scrubbed Decks.