Looney Actions Cloud Best End Result
After the Ocean City Mayor and Council reversed course, voting 4-3 not to fund a gas marketing campaign two weeks after it was approved by the same vote, confusion is running rampant in town.
Subsequently, the council has embarrassed itself and the town, though the end result — the likelihood that the gas promotion will now fizzle out altogether — is the best thing.
We never liked the idea of throwing money at gasoline, whether it was giving away a certain amount of free gas to several hundred motorists or just creating a clever advertising campaign regarding gas prices.
Even when the council voted 4-3 to lump a $100,000 gasoline marketing plan with a golf advertising co-op, we still thought it was bad government, linking two unrelated campaigns that seemingly sought to accomplish different ends through contradictory means.
This week it was learned the council has now gone a different direction, and the gas measure appears to be dead and by default the golf co-op will more than likely officially meet its demise.
This is a disgrace, and the council needs to be aware of what it has done here.
A fan of the gas campaign or not, the fact is it has gotten the resort headlines it previously would not have gotten. The media has gobbled up this concept, and it has surely created a buzz.
Now, with the advent of this change of direction, the council will paint the town in a bad light, as media outlets will soon begin circulating stories about the town doing an about face and deciding not to do it. In this case, any publicity is surely not good publicity, and these bizarre and inconsistent actions epitomize bad representation.
Unfortunately, the end result here is the best course of action, but with it comes the perception of Ocean City operating a loony tune sort of government, at least on this high-profile matter.
Most people are not in favor of spending money on gasoline marketing, particularly since gas prices are now falling. Many simply think it’s shining a light on a negative when Ocean City has so many positive attributes to boast about with its valued ad dollars.
They are right. Gasoline is not a hot topic amongst most of the populace currently, and Ocean City should not be running ads reminding people gasoline prices are higher than they were a year ago, but you should still come to the resort and the land of pleasant living.
The early part of the season has confirmed people are coming here and it has nothing to do with gasoline prices. Even if it does, the private sector is adequately addressing it through fuel cards in exchange of room rentals.
At this point, the council would be wise to simply abandon the gas and golf measures altogether and let the current marketing campaign run its course as was planned over the winter.
July is around the corner and before we know it will be August. Now is not the time to start a new marketing campaign anyway, even if it’s clever and quirky, as council members reported this week.
The damage is done and Ocean City would be best to just let these marketing initiatives go for now. They can always be re-examined at a later date.