What now?

Now that Turner Effect has pulled out on the effort to better brand the region, being “the only firm qualified” to do the work- where do we go- and who will pay to either fix it- or make it work?

I was quoted in the paper today- I think it’s pretty clear of what I think of “Get Midwest” and “Be Midwest”- but how about the $750,000 that’s been spent on something that shouldn’t have cost more than a third of that?

Dems: Turner’s wife was right to quit marketing effort
The public-private coalition sets priorities for community projects and lobbies area congressmen, including Turner, R-Centerville, for federal funding for those projects. The $1.5 million for the brand campaign comes primarily from state funds and a matching grant from a foundation controlled by Clayton Mathile, one of the leading contributors to Mike Turner’s political campaigns. Most coalition trustees are Turner contributors.

“They (the Turner Effect) are getting out of it for interesting reasons, which is the publicity,” said Montgomery County Democratic Party Chairman Mark Owens. “They should have looked at how it would look to this community before they took the contract.”

David Esrati, another Democratic candidate for Turner’s congressional seat, said he still questions the propriety of Lori Turner’s work for the federal government and for political action committees. “She’s a congressman’s wife. She shouldn’t be doing work for the federal government,” he said.

Turner’s resignation also “doesn’t change the fact that Get Midwest/Be Midwest stinks” as a slogan, Esrati said.

Coalition President J.P. Nauseef did not return a phone call Tuesday. He has said coalition trustees discussed the appearance of conflict, but gave the job to the Turner Effect anyway.

Please note- I was lumped in with the others as a Democrat- but that has no bearing on this issue. Had I not been running, I’d have been saying the same thing- and asking the same questions. Guaranteed. While Montgomery County Democratic Party Chair Mark Owens and my opposition Jane Mitakides are licking their chops on this juicy piece of ammunition– I’m really more concerned about how it reflects on my profession and the region.

I did a lot of very successful work at repositioning Mendelsons Liquidation Outlet, in 18 months- and gross billings, including media, were only $150,000. Our tagline, “The first place to find every last thing” won awards and helped position Mendelsons quite effectively. For the Turner Effect to bill that much and deliver something so worthless is a poor reflection on my industry.

As to how effective it will be for Dayton- I’m not alone in considering the concept as bad as “Herb the Nerd.”

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