BP nixes Crist request for additional $50 million for ads

BP appears to be rejecting Gov. Charlie Crist’s request for an additional $50 million for Florida tourism advertising in response to the ongoing oil spill.

Florida received $25 million in June for advertising to offset the negative images of oil in the Gulf of Mexico. On June 30, Crist sent a letter to BP saying the $25 million had been “deployed.” He requested the additional $50 million for advertising, saying that Floridians “would rather work than receive claim checks.”

But in a response letter dated Monday, BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles pointed out that Crist had noted in his letter that Florida’s beaches had remained largely clear of oil.

Suttles also said that a grant targeting the entire state was not the most effective strategy of attracting visitors. And he said the company was working with consultants to identify communities that have been affected by the spill to provide “tailored grants” for ad campaigns and events “that have a more immediate impact in attracting visitors.”

An example that Suttles cited was the free Jimmy Buffett concert Sunday in Gulf Shores, Ala., which Crist attended. A Crist spokesman said Tuesday there was no immediate response to the letter.

(Story copyrighted by Bruce Ritchie and FloridaEnvironments.com. Do not copy or redistribute without permission, which can be obtained by contacting brucebritchie@gmail.com.)