Public relations firm Kelly Holding won a $70,000 contract to support government’s marketing push in support of the cruise port development, according to documents released under the Freedom of Information Law.
The firm was one of three bidders for the contract for a “high intensity public education campaign” around the cruise and cargo project.
Government is obliged to reveal its marketing spend in response to FOI requests.
The $70,240 contract between Kelly Holding and the Ministry of Tourism takes the direct spending on port promotions past $200,000. Government has also taken out more than 4,000 ads with Radio Cayman. Though no money changed hands for the commercials, an earlier FOI response, indicates that the ‘set value’ for government entities for these types of ads is $20.
The Ministry of Tourism ran 4,376 such ads between 1 Jan. 2018 and 1 Sept. 2019, the response indicated. Based on the $20 valuation, that amounts to in-kind expenditure of $87,340.
Premier Alden McLaughlin had previously defended government’s right to spend public money to promote the project. He said it was unclear how much CPR had spent as they were not required to make their spending public.
“Government is entitled to spend taxpayers’ money to promote any of its projects,” he said in an inerview. “This is not a party political issue; this is a national issue for which the government has a mandate.”