A 'different' HVCB awards contracts

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HONOLULU -- The Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau selected advertising and public relations agencies after a two-month review.

Milici Valenti Ng Pack will be the HVCB's advertising agency, and McNeil Wilson Communications will handle public relations for 2004 to 2007. The four-year contracts with the Hawaii-based firms begin Jan 1.

"The HVCB will be a different organization as we move into 2004," said the bureau's new president and CEO John Monahan. "Each person involved in the process of selecting the agencies was sincerely committed to selecting the very best partners to work with us as we evolve and strengthen our role as the lead marketing organization for Hawaii in North America and the global Corporate Meetings and Incentives markets."

For the first time in its 100-year history, the HVCB will not market Hawaii to the world, but will instead focus on North America, the state's most important source of visitors. That contract with the state is worth $15.2 million per year.

Other organizations will supervise marketing efforts in Japan, Europe and Oceania.

The HVCB lost some of those contract awards after a critical state audit of some of the HVCB's practices.

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