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Advertising Agency Selected to Brand Utah

News Release
July 27, 2005

Salt Lake City, Utah - Advertising agency W Communications has been selected to develop a branding campaign for the State of Utah. The announcement was made today by Utah Governor Jon M. Huntsman, Jr. The contract is part of an overall effort to increase the number of tourists who visit Utah every year.

"Image building is a primary focus of the state's economic development initiative," said Governor Huntsman. "We have world class destinations in Utah that should be promoted, including f ive national parks, seven national monuments, and forty state parks. Also, our skiing and other winter sports activities are second to none."

Utah lawmakers have appropriated $14 million to spend on advertising for the state over the next two years. The state will spend $10 million in the current fiscal year, which began on July 1, to attract more out-of-state visitors to Utah.

Salt Lake City-based W Communications was selected to represent Utah in a competitive state bidding process. The state recently issued a request for proposals (RFP) for advertising agencies to submit bids for the opportunity to develop and promote the Utah brand. The Utah Division of Purchasing and General Services received 20 bids from agencies. Eight finalists were chosen to give oral presentations to a panel made up of tourism-related organizations from around the state.

"W Communications has put together a talented team of local and national advertising and public relations professionals who have a passion for Utah," said Leigh von der Esch, managing director of tourism for the Governor's Office of Economic Development who will oversee the advertising contract. "The process has reminded me of what creativity and talent we are fortunate to have in our state."

W is a full service advertising agency headquartered in Salt Lake City that recently won 62 local ADDY® awards for its creative work. The W team is made up of Mark Hurst, lead account supervisor; Gordon Bowen, executive creative director; M Booth and Associates, a New York-based public relations firm; and Carat, a media buying agency based in Los Angeles. For more information on W, please visit

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