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California to Hit 'Comeback' Campaign Trail : Marketing: Gov. Pete Wilson and top Democratic leaders will join in an advertising effort to keep businesses in the state.

August 19, 1993|DAVID W. MYERS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

In a rare show of unity forged from the struggle to stem the flow of companies fleeing the state, Gov. Pete Wilson and top Democratic leaders today are expected to announce a $10-million advertising campaign aimed at persuading employers that California is still a good place to live and do business.

Dozens of the state's largest corporations and best-known advertising agencies have pledged to contribute to the effort, which will not use taxpayers' funds.

Dubbed the "Great California Comeback," the campaign is designed to remind businesses of the state's vast resources--from its natural and recreational attractions to its highly skilled work force and a consumer base that is still among the wealthiest in the nation.

"California has been getting a 'bum rap' for too long, so we thought it was time to give its reputation a face lift," said Bob Kresser, chairman and chief executive of Santa Monica-based Kresser/Craig advertising agency and president of the California Advertising Alliance, a group of advertisers, ad agencies and media companies. The group conceived the "Comeback" campaign and won the support of Wilson, Assembly Speaker Willie Brown (D-San Francisco) and state Assembly President Pro-Tem David A. Roberti (D-Van Nuys) earlier this year.

The campaign itself is still in its embryonic stages, but Kresser said it will include print ads and broadcast spots that focus on the recent overhaul of the workers' compensation system and other legislative efforts under way to make California more "business-friendly."

The program is patterned after the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, which linked ad agencies willing to donate their expertise with newspapers and broadcasters willing to provide free air time and advertising space for the partnership's anti-drug messages.

The first advertisements in the California campaign will debut in early 1994 and run for at least a year, Kresser said.

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