Sanitary Connecticut?

Posted on July 3, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

Have you seen the new state-financed Revolutionary Connecticut advertising campaign yet? We reported on its launch two weeks ago; the slogan is now appearing on billboards, in magazines, and on television screens across the region.

Considering last week’s news from the shoreline, though, it’s fortunate that the marketing mavens didn’t choose the slogan Sanitary Connecticut instead! According to the National Resources Defense Council, of the 30 states with beaches on the coasts or Great Lakes, the Nutmeg State only ranked 26th in water quality.

So how does the advertising campaign address the issue of water quality? Interestingly, although the campaign’s half-minute video entitled Connecticut Coast (which is available for viewing on YouTube) opens and closes with “action shots” of children running along the sandy shore, none of the adorable tykes actually dares to venture into the water.

Purely a coincidence? Perhaps so, but when Leah Schmalz, director of legislative and legal affairs for Save the Sound (a program of the Connecticut Fund for the Environment), tells the Connecticut Post that beach waters after heavy storms contain “debris, chemicals and other materials (that) becomes a toxic stew,” it is difficult to avoid noticing the discordancy between the marketing image of the shoreline and the occasional reality of bacterial contamination.

As we reported last month, the State has invested $27 million in the advertising campaign. Would it be wise for our government leaders to invest a few more dollars in the health of the shoreline environment as well?

Contributed by Michael Kraten, PhD, CPA, Accounting Professor at Providence College and President of Enterprise Mgt. Corp.

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Connecticut Tourism: A $27 Million Investment

Posted on June 20, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

If you had the ability to direct the expenditure of $27 million of state funds, where would you apply the money?

To the repair of our crumbling bridges and roads, perhaps? Or to our underfunded systems of public education and health?

If you’d rather spend the cash on a flashy advertising campaign, you’re in luck! Our State Office of Tourism has just launched a campaign that features five videos, all of which are now available for viewing on YouTube.

The tag line? Still Revolutionary, a phrase that purportedly refers to the state’s “revolutionary spirit that still remains today.”

Oddly enough, the videos do not appear to mention Nathan Hale, Connecticut’s most illustrious revolutionary.

Hale, a Yale alumnus and Connecticut’s official State Hero, was executed by the British for spying during the American Revolution.

According to legend, when given the choice of betraying his fellow patriots or surrendering his life, Hale retorted “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” The British Army proceeded accordingly.

Nevertheless, neither Hale’s homestead in Coventry, Connecticut, nor his famous statue on Yale University’s historic Old Campus, appear in the videos at all.

The advertisements do, however, feature baby boomers who sip wine in vineyards and adorable tykes who gaze at a beluga whale through an aquarium tank.

These images, though hardly “revolutionary,” are quite striking. Nevertheless, is the State prepared to measure whether this $27 million expenditure will achieve a satisfactory return on the taxpayer’s investment?

Contributed by Michael Kraten, PhD, CPA, Accounting Professor at Providence College and President of Enterprise Mgt. Corp.

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