The New Brunswick government is pulling its television ad program midway through the tourism marketing strategy, opting to divert that money to an online promotion.
The Department of Tourism and Parks is cancelling plans for two to three more weeks of the 17-week ad buy for the television spots.
The Progressive Conservative Opposition says the early termination is a sign that the ads, which where created by Saint John-based Revolution Strategy, were not working.
Kim Matthews, the director of marketing for the tourism department, is dismissing talk that the ads were not going over well.
'Hopefully after Sept. 27, we won't have to worry what they do next year because they won't have the opportunity to do it'— PC MLA Wayne Steeves
Matthews said there's been no negative feedback about the ads. Instead, she said the department wanted to capitalize on the success of its online tourism marketing initiative.
"Looking at what's going on with our online programs, we think if we take that money and shift that into our online marketing, it will have more impact," Matthews said.
The controversial ads feature music by Frederiction musician David Myles and they show slide projector images of various New Brunswick activities from the Bay of Fundy's Hopewell Rocks to windsurfing.
The images move slowly in time-lapse until the symbol for the "pause" button appears onscreen.
After the pause button fades the text, "Every moment is worth taking in," appears. And then the ad ends with a New Brunswick government logo and a prompt to book a vacation.
The spots were created by Revolution Strategy, a company with links to the Liberals. The firm, and its predecessor, ran the Liberal party's last two election campaigns.
This is the first year of Revolution's three-year deal with the province, a contract subject to annual evaluation and review.
Derek Riedle, the chief executive officer of Revolution Strategy, did not respond to a request for his comments.
Progressive Conservative MLA Wayne Steeves, the opposition's tourism critic, said the ads are bad. He compared them to furniture ads.
Steeves said if the PC Party wins the fall provincial election Revolution may not have the chance to come up with better ads for 2011.
"Hopefully after Sept. 27 we won't have to worry what they do next year because they won't have the opportunity to do it," Steeves said.