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"The New Buffalo" Advertisement Seen Far Beyond Here

Have you seen the commercials that New York State is running, featuring (from left, above) Billionaire Investor Warren Buffett, Bills Hall of Famer Jim Kelly, the GEICO Gecko and even actress Christine Baranski touting the economic development possibilities here?

" I think the ads are well done...many other states do the same thing,  but if it is going to be the basis for new investment in New York state generally or the Buffalo Niagara region in particular, much more fundamental issues are going to be more important to business decision makers."  

      - Andrew Rudnick , Buffalo Niagara Partnership

  From The NY Times:

" Critics of the “Open for Business” campaign, which the Legislature approved, have proliferated as the commercials receive heavy airtime on networks like CNN, CNBC and NBC. Some have questioned whether the campaign is a wise use of money, while others have questioned whether New York, with its high tax burden, is truly business-friendly.


The advertisements feature skyline footage, testimonials about the state's business climate and a golden Buffalo sunrise over Lake Erie. They air nationwide, paid for by the state economic development department, and first began broadcasting on May 7.


It is part of a nearly $140 million advertising buy over two years, according to The New York Times. (Read more below right. )

The ads have been spotted by flight attendants in Phoenix and Chicago, and ex-Buffalonians with a soft spot for our city say they've seen them in New York, Texas and D.C. too.

But as much as it brings pride to the Buffalo ex-pat community at-large, it inspires skepticism among those who lobby more often to bring business to the city or state. 

"I think it is putting the cart before the horse," says Mike Durant,  New York State director of The National Federation of Independent Business.

"New York has three ways to fix, and you have to fix all three, the business  climate. It's regulatory fixes, there's statutory fixes and then there's public perception."

The ads tout the state's cut in business taxes, saying " cutting taxes on business is our business," and feature a range of testimonials.

But Durant says New York state still ranks " 49th in economic outlook, we have the highest state and local tax burden, regardless of the ad campaign,"   Durant says.

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The ads do imbue a spirit of Buffalo pride though, especially when seen by the vast ex- Buffalo community at large and that  "isn't a bad thing," according to Andrew Rudnick, the outgoing head of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, the region's chamber of commerce and business lobby organization.

But he doubts that the business community- literally the movers who could bring more jobs to town- will be swayed by the campaign.   

"I don't think  that business decision makers decide what to do when they see an ad. They are far more numbers based.  This is not a time when people are cavalier about investments, and whether it be the tax and business climate, or workforce issues and plan and permitting issues, much more bottom line nuts-and-bolts things are the basis for new investments being made," Rudnick says.

TV or print versions have been seen as far away as Washington DC (In the Washington Post, no less)  and on TV in San Antonio Texas, according to our weekly political contributor Dave Levinthal, at the Center for Public Integrity. (HEAR more with him below.)

"It is something that definitely has been catching some eyes, and some of my friends from Buffalo here in Washington have seen it," says Levinthal, who was born here, and adds that pride wells up when the ads come on .  "it's catching some eyeballs and it's catching some attention," he says .

Exclusive WBEN Audio
On The WBEN Liveline

talk of the ads,
after a discussion of Syria and the surprise weekend visit by Sen. John Mc Cain

From The NYS Dept. Of Economic Development,  Via YouTube

05/29/2013 6:58AM
"The New Buffalo" Advertisement Seen Far Beyond Here
Please enter your comments below.
05/29/2013 7:16AM
Today's WBEN poll
"No" is leading the pack by far. What a bunch of gloomy un-American Eeyores! This is what you get when you feed 'em Limbaugh and his imitators all the time. A constant diet of hate and lies creates an audience that's, how to putit, below average.
05/29/2013 7:18AM
Wait'll they hear that Michele Bachmann is leaving the House to concentrate on staying out of prison.
05/29/2013 7:42AM
Great ad
Nicely done.
05/29/2013 8:13AM
Buffalo?? Really, Buffalo??
I can tell you right now that the ads touting Bflo will probably not work. Coast to coast, this city has almost as bad a reputation as Detroit, and nothing will change that until the voters wake up and change the culture of corruption in both Albany and Buffalo/Erie County. This area, and I was born here, has nothing to offer except food. Leave NY for good!! I've lived on both coasts and in Texas. Let me tell you about Texas ! Oh, forget about it! The know-nothings in western NY could care less- only about how much will the government give me! Hal
05/29/2013 8:39AM
Texas?? Really, Texas??
Rick Perry. Louie Gohmert. Case closed. Next!
05/29/2013 8:40AM
05/29/2013 9:00AM
05/29/2013 9:46AM
Florida see's it
Highland Beach
05/29/2013 1:14PM
F bombs and truth? On a WBEN message board?
In the past this website has carefully screened to prevent profanity and pesky facts that contradict the right-wing made-up narrative. Congrats to Rachel Kingston and Steve Cichon for bailing on this shadow-of-its-former-self propaganda outlet.
05/29/2013 1:42PM
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