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Monday, Jun 5, 2023

Microsoft Mockery

Just three months after launching its newest ad campaign with the tag “It’s Amazing What Grows in Los Angeles,” the New Los Angeles Marketing Partnership is having growth problems of its own.

The partnership, also known as NewLAMP, began its third year in April with funding from the city of Los Angeles, corporate investors and smaller cities throughout L.A. County. But it has yet to be given any funding from the county itself.

The county budget, approved last month, included no funding for NewLAMP although supervisors could still vote to reallocate funds from another source. Last year, the county budgeted $250,000 for the partnership, and $500,000 in its first year in 1995.

NewLAMP directors say that if they don’t get $500,000 in additional funding, the group will have to eliminate three months of television and radio ads. They caution that this could be reflected in the partnership’s toll-free business assistance line.

“Every month between 500 and 700 businesses use the business service line,” said Regina Birdsell, NewLAMP’s executive director. “The way they know about the line is through the ads.”

The bulk of NewLAMP’s annual funding comes from sources other than the county. The city of L.A. contributed $1 million to NewLAMP this year and the partnership’s 80 corporate investors contributed $1.6 million. Long Beach, West Covina, the Port of L.A. and other sources contributed nearly $600,000.

Over the last several weeks, Birdsell has sent faxes to NewLAMP’s corporate investors including Atlantic Richfield Co. and BankAmerica Corp. asking them to send letters to the five county supervisors requesting $500,000 in funding for NewLAMP for the 1997-98 fiscal year.

In the partnership’s first two years, county Supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite Burke carried motions to provide money to NewLAMP. The $750,000 in county funds allocated in the past came from fees paid by cable television operators when they set up franchises in L.A. County.

Burke said last week that money is no longer available because most of the fees paid in the past have been used up. She is attempting to find a new source of county funding for the partnership.

“Yes, I’ve been very supportive of the program, but I’m not sure where we’ll get the funds this time,” Burke said. “We’re still looking.”

Not everyone agrees that county funding is needed. Joel Bellman, spokesman for Board of Supervisors Chairman Zev Yaroslavsky, said the board has never agreed to support the partnership financially in the long term, but rather voted to give it money twice in the past at Burke’s request.

“Originally it came up as a one-time, startup thing, and now it’s come up as a regular request,” Bellman said. “I don’t understand why it’s not entirely self-sustaining by now. Instead, it’s become an annual expectation that we would continue subsidizing it.”

Bellman said Yaroslavsky views NewLAMP as being largely duplicative of other regional marketing agencies, such as the Economic Development Corp. of L.A. County and the Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau.

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