The “Stronger Than The Storm” TV commercials starring New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and his family are providing a near $5 million windfall of taxpayer dollars for a politically active PR agency, more than $2 million higher than what the runner-up firm planned to charge. Christie administration officials had a hand in selecting TV commercials which are controversial because the governor gets more exposure in a gubernatorial election year, noted USA Today.
The ads are part of this season’s $25 million state tourism campaign funded by the federal disaster aid package approved by Congress after Superstorm Sandy. Under terms of a state contract, subsequent campaigns for 2014 and 2015 will be subject to the availability of additional funding.
East Rutherford, NJ-based MWW and a subcontractor are billing the state $4.7 million for employee compensation and markups to run this year’s campaign, according to information obtained through a public records request by the Asbury Park Press. The remainder goes toward TV and radio commercial production, media buys and promotions.