State picks out-of-state ad firm to promote Pure Mich.

Michael Gerstein
The Detroit News
Frame grab from latest Pure Michigan campaign video  March 2015.

Lansing — A state business development board unanimously approved Tuesday more than $34.8 million for out-of-state multinational advertising and public relations companies to do state marketing efforts including the Pure Michigan campaign.

The Michigan Strategic Fund approved the firms and dollar amounts with no debate. In the past, Democrats have sometimes criticized Republican Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration and appointees for contracting out state work to out-of-state companies.

The contracts included $25.2 million for McCann Erickson, a New York-based advertising agency with offices in more than 120 countries, to run the marketing and advertising campaign for Pure Michigan for one year, starting Sept. 1 and running through Sept. 30, 2017.

The one-year contract — which lawyers still have to finalize — can be renewed four more times, according to state documents. McCann Erickson has an office in Birmingham.

“We are excited to continue working with the team that created the award-winning and industry-leading Pure Michigan brand 10 years ago,” Michigan Economic Development Corp. spokeswoman Emily Gerkin Guerrant said in a Tuesday email.

“The teams at both Weber Shandwick Detroit and McCann Detroit have been excellent partners in our efforts to promote and market Michigan and bring their own passion for this state to the job every day. With more than 800 total employees in the state, both firms are strong in-state partners that have years of experience working in Michigan.”

The Michigan Strategic Fund also approved an additional $7.5 million for McCann Erickson to run the marketing and advertising efforts for “business marketing campaigns” for the same one-year time period, which can also be renewed four more times after lawyers finalize the contract.

Another $2.1 million will go to New York-based public relations firm Weber Shandwick to run public relations media relations and social media campaigns for “business development” and “community development” projects for the same one-year term. The company also has an office in Birmingham.

In 2012, the Strategic Fund board approved a three-year contract to Des Moines-based Meredith Corp. to produce the glossy “Pure Michigan” travel guide magazine three times each year. It approved another three-year contract worth $1.55 million annually in 2015.

In 2013, Democrat Mark Schauer tried to make the Iowa contract a big outsourcing issue in his failed attempt to oust Snyder.