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City Launches Ambitious National Ad Campaign : Marketing: Five-page display in Forbes will be followed up with 1-page ad. The magazine will also mail material to 14,000 executives.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Undaunted by the soft economy, Long Beach is embarking on a national marketing campaign to woo new businesses to its shores, presenting itself as a “dynamic city with a cosmopolitan flavor.”

That is just one of the many glowing descriptions of Long Beach found in a five-page, fold-out advertisement in the current issue of Forbes, a business magazine with a national circulation of 735,000. The ad, paid for jointly by local corporations and the city Redevelopment Agency, launches a major marketing effort that has been in the works for more than a year.

As part of the $200,000 Forbes package, another one-page ad touting the city will appear within a few months, and Forbes will mail promotional material about Long Beach to about 14,000 business executives across the country.

Additionally, the agency is putting together a new brochure about the city and will start mailing a quarterly newsletter to companies and retailers that it would like to lure to Long Beach. The city is also advertising in trade publications.

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Certainly Long Beach is in need of some economic boosts. Its big oil income a thing of the past, the city is struggling with poor sales-tax income, a decline in the Southern California aerospace industry, and gluts in the office and hotel market. City leaders this year had to raise taxes and cut services to cope with the gloomy financial picture.

While harsh times have fallen on businesses and cities around the nation, Susan Shick, the city’s community development director, nonetheless said that the promotional campaign was appropriate. “It needs to be done at a time like this. This is a good time to compete,” she remarked, adding that in recessionary periods, business leaders sit back and scan the horizons for their next opportunities.

Moreover, Shick said city leaders did not want to run a high-profile ad until a follow-up promotional program was in place, and it has taken much of the past year to put it together. The marketing campaign was developed with the help of a Los Angeles marketing agency, Vogel Communications Group, which interviewed local leaders and conducted market research.

The Redevelopment Agency paid for half of the Forbes effort. The rest was paid for by 10 sponsors, including the Long Beach Port, Long Beach Area Convention and Visitors Council and a number of private corporations, such as Shoreline Square Associates, McDonnell Douglas Realty Co., the Walt Disney Co. and the Kilroy Airport Center.

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The color ad, which folds out from the cover of the magazine, will be formally presented today at a Long Beach luncheon attended by Forbes publisher Caspar W. Weinberger, former secretary of defense, and Christopher Forbes, the magazine’s vice chairman. About 200 business leaders from around the country have been invited to attend the lunch, hosted by Forbes, the city and Kilroy.


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