ALBANY – New York State is not doing a proper job in overseeing how its tourism and marketing money is being spent.
That’s according to state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, who released a scathing report Monday against the Empire State Development Corp (ESDC).
DiNapoli’s says what began as a $50 million ad campaign by BBDO USA LLC, an advertising and marketing agency, to promote tourism and business has mushroomed into a $211.5 million boondoggle with little proof that the ads have generated jobs.
The comptroller said that when government spends hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to promote the state as a place to visit and which is open for business, it should have clear objectives, but, he said that ESDC’s attempts to measure the results of the campaign were weak at best.
Officials with ESDC – which is controlled by Gov. Andrew Cuomo – responded by citing increased visits to their websites and focus group results showing that business executives in and out of the state have recalled the TV ads promoting the state.
The ESDC oversees economic growth efforts ranging from tourism promotion to the START-Up NY tax break program for new businesses.