Pensacola Politics

Hayward cans Zimmerman Agency

February 4, 2013

PNJ reporter Nate Monroe is reporting that Mayor Ashton Hayward has sent a termination letter to his Tallahassee-based ad agency. Effective Feb. 28, The Zimmerman Ad Agency will no longer do the marketing for the City of Pensacola.

Last week, I reported on the State Auditor’s report on the mishandling of bed tax and BP marketing by the Okaloosa County Tourism Development Council, for which Zimmerman handled the marketing.

Yesterday, I wrote about the pending investigation by the Okaloosa County Commission of more allegations against how the ad agency may have mishandled funds.

Today, Hayward tells the daily newspaper that he is firing them. We, of course, were not included on the announcement. Lol.

While the ad agency is getting the boot, the “Upside” logo is staying, according to unnamed city sources.

  • What a Joke February 6, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    I fear Eric2 is right. The mayor is all about making things look good. He didn’t fire them because it was the right thing to do. He fired them because keeping them under contract was starting to look bad. We shouldn’t be surprised that the mayor is all about form over function. He was a model. His wife still is a model. His image, whether it be the clothes he wears, the car he drives, the PR that is sent out, the house he lives in, etc., is what’s important. Unfortunately, most people won’t look below the surface.

  • Eric2 February 6, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    If hayward runs again he will likely win. Suspect his approval rating is still around 70%

  • EPenn February 6, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    Considering the Mayor has set the stage to be defeated next election by any candidate that promises to attend City Council meetings, respect the City’s own police force and not pretend to be the king of Pensacola (I own this City, department, airport, port, etc..), says it all.

  • CJ Lewis February 6, 2013 at 11:44 am

    The Zimmerman Agency’s placement of the “Punch line no more” story in the Gulf Coast Business Review (August 24, 2012), glorifying Hayward at the expense of the Council, was a major SNAFU. It was every bit as insulting as Hayward’s own article in the October 17, 2011 issue of the U.S. Mayor Newspaper, published by the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

    Rick mentions the IN Weekly’s mid-term analysis of Hayward’s first half of what most of us hope will only be four years in office. I’m no fan of Ashton Hayward. However, Rick and Jeremy Morrison gave Hayward credit where it was due and, within the limitation of the available pages, took him to task where he deserved it.

    The story was perhaps the fairest and most objective assessment of anything or anyone to appear in the local media in years. It was fortunate for Hayward that the IN Weekly didn’t have another 4-5 pages to devote chronicling each instance where he has abused “the executive powers of the City” to include describing in ugly detail each instance where Hayward has violated a long list of State and City laws the voter-approved Charter requires this, the next and all future Mayors to enforce.

  • Kevin February 6, 2013 at 6:31 am

    The giant city marketing and branding blitz was way over the top. I don’t know who was advising the mayor on that initiative but they did him no favors. Might make sense for the city to consider the firm handling the tourism effort – huge opportunity for synergies and consistency of messages. Silly to have City, Chamber and TDC using 3 different firms UNLESS they are on the same sheet as to the message we want to send to potential visitors, residents, corporate executives and business owners seeking to relocate.

  • joe February 5, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    “Apparently Tamara Fountain and Cosson believe in rewarding tips only to the media that praises their boss.” Rick Outzen

    I haven’t been on this site much lately so must have missed some items but I remember Ricks blog as being highly favorable to the Hayward mayorship. Sure maybe not as yuck, puke, as the daily but favorable, nonetheless. Mayor Ashton must have soe really thin skin…not a trait well-suited for politics.

    • Rick Outzen February 6, 2013 at 4:23 am

      Joe,
      We have dealt with unprofessional PIO departments before. And this is not an issue of supporting Mayor Hayward or not. We have handled Hayward as we have all politicians – compliment those actions that we believe make the community better and criticize those that don’t. Our mid-term report on his administration was an objective analysis. The reporting of the Penzone blunder was what actually happened. Yes, I weighed in on it, but my viewpoint was based on the facts. On Zimmerman, that has been a turd in the punch bowl since the agency so badly handled its city council presentation last fall and has gotten more putrid every day.

      Sadly, the bigger issues are ignored by the mayor. We got two decent years out of him—is that all we get? January 2013 wasn’t a good start.

  • What a Joke February 4, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    And of course the Mayor’s decision to fire them had nothing to do with your reporting of the investigation into mishandling funds, etc.?! Too funny.

    • Rick Outzen February 4, 2013 at 8:36 pm

      City PIO Derek Cosson sent me an email that there was no official announcement and that Nate Monroe just happened to get wind of it.

      Apparently Tamara Fountain and Cosson believe in rewarding tips only to the media that praises their boss.

      Silly and unprofessional but since the midterm report we have expected such treatment.

      The good news is Mayor Hayward realised his blunder. That is all that counts. The city is better off without Zimmerman.