State Spends 75,000 Taxpayer Dollars on Twitter Promo for Crony Development Agency


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Empire State Development has spent more than $75,000 to promote Tweets, and that’s just since October, according to records obtained by a Freedom of Information Law request from Albany weekly The Alt.

The Alt reported that over the past six months the agency has increased efforts to revamp its digital strategy with a new ad campaign, “Tomorrow Starts Today,” to attract and retain businesses in the state. This includes adding to its presence on social media platforms, including Twitter and LinkedIn.

After all, if $8.5 billion in tax incentives a year doesn’t work, surely a few Tweets will turn the tide of the Upstate economy.

In the past, ESD has been criticized for its marketing strategy during its “Open for Business” ad campaign in 2015 under a $211 million contract with media firm BBDO.

During an audit of that campaign, State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli found there was little evidence to determine whether the media promotion helped ESD create new jobs. And yet the agency directed an additional $25 million toward the campaign that same month.

If the invoice from this FOIL request is any indication, little has changed in ESD’s new campaign. The agency threw $100 million at a two-year contract with advertising firm Campbell Ewald that began in late 2015, but did little to project how the new strategy would promote job growth.

The state just doesn’t care that their strategy is not working, as long as Albany cronies are getting their payouts. And Empire State Development will keep spending public dollars on spin to try and distract from the reality that New York won’t stay competitive when we’ve got a broken tax system.

It’s just another example of government waste.

If you’re tired of watching politicians flush money down the drain, join Reclaim New York today.