August 24, 2016 – Orlando Sentinel
by Gray Rohrer
Even though Pitbull’s “Sexy Beaches” video will continue to tout Florida, his deal with the state is done.
Visit Florida, a public-private tourism promotion group, has not renewed its contract with the rap superstar to be a “brand ambassador” for the state.
Under the agreement, Pitbull was required to promote Visit Florida to his millions of followers on social media and use his 2014 “Sexy Beaches” single as a marketing video for Visit Florida.
The contract, the terms of which were never revealed, expired on June 30.
But one open government advocate said Wednesday that Visit Florida’s move toward more transparency is welcome.
“It’s a step in the right direction, and we hope they continue to move in the right direction,” said Barbara Petersen, president of the First Amendment Foundation, a Tallahassee-based media group.
Visit Florida will receive $78 million in state money this year. Last year, it got $133.2 million worth of packages and advertising space from companies that benefit from Visit Florida’s promotion of the state.
The vast majority of its operational costs and marketing deals are paid by taxpayers. [READ MORE]