Freedom of Information reveals cost of tourism advertisement, why it wasn’t put out to tender, and the fact two others are to follow

17th April 2017

A one minute 12 second tourism advertisement produced by Fenland Council that produced a mixed response when it was aired in January, is to be followed by two others.

Fenland Council confirmed they have commissioned three such promotional videos but have not said when the other two will follow.

A Freedom of Information request revealed the cost of all three – £1,500- was approved without going out to tender.

“The Fenland Tourism Board decided to develop a promotional video as a group and to use a local film maker as the lead,” said a council official.

“FDC raised an order and paid for the work as the budget sits with FDC.”

“As the sum was less than £5,000 the council’s procurement regulations allow an order without a tender.”

The official confirmed the cost per film of £500 “and a further two short films will be produced; no release date has been decided as yet”.

The council was asked whether in determining the creation of an advertisement campaign could they confirm what advice was sought as to its likely success and the methodology deployed to deliver the message to a wider audience?

“The Fenland Tourism Board decided to produce a video as it is something other tourism destinations use and Fenland has not in the past,” said the official.

The video was produced by March-based Fenland Film Productions and the cast used were local people.

Councillor Michelle Tanfield, chairman of the local tourism committee, said all the cast were local people.

Introducing it to an invited audience of about 30 tourism providers and cast members at The Light Cinema, Wisbech, she said: “It’s short, snappy and to the point and I hope you agree shines a fantastic light on Fenland.”

The advert, entitled “Fenland – it won’t let you down”, consists of a series of short clips highlighting outdoor attractions, including cycling, walking, fishing, angling, river trips – and even flying.

On YouTube the video – that has had 1,197 views- has attracted a mixed response with one critic describing it as “shambolic” and another describing it as “shockingly poor”.

However others describe it as “amazing” and “a great vid”.

On his website Tim Nightingale, who runs Fenland Film Productions, says his goal “is to ensure your business stands out from the crowded market place that it competes within.

“We will help to raise your profile whilst respecting your available budget. We will listen and ensure your brand image is the cornerstone of the visual content. Ultimately our goal is to convey your unique selling points and messages creatively so that you can feel confident and proud of the finished film.”