Sunshine, sandy beaches and beautiful palm trees along the Gulf
coast waters are some of the perks that come with Florida living and
visiting. It's a place where a diverse mix of people work and
play while enjoying family friendly activities like art museums,
festivals and theme parks.
Tampa Bay region cities boast award-winning
cafes and restaurants, terrific sports teams, historic landmarks, sailing, golfing, fishing
You know what we don't have? Oil from the BP fiasco.
4th District of the American Advertising Federation (covering the state
of Florida and the Caribbean) is about to remind everyone what
Florida living has to offer. This year's public service chair, Mike
Weber, is leading the Friend Florida
campaign for the nonprofit organization.
Weber is the president and owner of CMR Studios
, an integrated media production company, based in St. Petersburg. After attending the AAF
national conference in Orlando, Weber realized how many people are
misinformed about the oil spill and its lack of impact on Florida's
beaches outside the Panhandle.
"We found that people literally thought that I had oil
behind my house and that they told their friends not to come and
vacation here because of the oil," says Weber.
Weber decided it
was important to get the word out to attempt to lessen the economic
impact as far as tourism is concerned. So the 24 chapters based in
Florida (there are a total of 25, one chapter is based in the Caribbean)
are now committed to the FriendFlorida.org
project is a pro bono effort. "There's nothing coming from BP or one of
the tourism councils or anything like that," says Weber. "We're
activating the Ad Fed network in order to utilize what we do best, which
is advertising and publicity."
The last major pro bono
pushes from Florida Ad Fed came in 2008 with the No On Amendment 5 and
in 1987 with the Ax the Tax campaign. Weber says he remembers how
campaigns were (the tax got axed and the amendment was removed from the
ballot) so he figures they can help correct misperceptions about the oil
In addition to creating local buzz, each chapter in Florida
plans to produce TV spots in cooperation with
local stations. Each of the 24 markets
will gather video to show that most Florida waters are oil free and worthy of visits from friends across the country.
For more information, visit: FriendFlorida.org
or visit the Friend Florida Facebook
Writer: Nancy Vaughn
Source: Mike Weber, American Advertising Federation