AyCee calls in the big guns to spread the word

If anyone thinks Atlantic City isn't serious about its latest attempt to right its financial ship, today's announcement that the Atlantic City Alliance has hired the Edelman public relations firm should disabuse them of that notion. 

Edelman is only the world's largest flak-tory with offices from Beijing to Barcelona to Buenos Aires (the closest branch is in New York, from whence the AyCee campaign will likely be conducted). The ACA, which is the town's casino industry trade organization, has, as of this year, $30 million annually to spend on spreading the global word about the criminally under-marketed gaming resort.

That the town is now playing in the big leagues is confirmed by Edelman's client list. Among those under the firm's marketing umbrella are General Electric. Walmart, PepsiCo and Quaker Oats.

Edelman is the ACA's second big-time hire. Earlier, it selected New York-based shop Euro RSCG to handle advertising. Its clients include Kraft Foods, IBM and Merck.

All of this is huge news. One not-insignificant reason for Las Vegas' status as the queen of U.S. gambling destinations is the brilliant "What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas" marketing campaign. It didn't create the desert gambling capital's success, but it certainly helped advance the impression of Vegas as a must-see adult fantasy land.

With such things as the opening of Revel, two big-time Bader Field music festivals (headlined respectively by Phish and Metallica) and the annual August Air Show all upcoming , there is certainly enough for these two entities to promote. Finally, it looks like such events will receive the promotion they deserve.

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