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Parsippany To Hit Airwaves To Spark Economic Development

Town council votes to fund an unusual way to promote the township: an informercial.

At the end of the Feb. 14 Town Council meeting, a quick matter was decided by the body after it emerged from a closed-door session. By a vote of 4-1, the council voted to spend $20,000 on an infomercial—one of those long-form television advertisements that looks like a talk show—to promote Parsippany-Troy Hills.

Mayor James Barberio says his appearance on the program is all about spreading the word about the township.

The infomercial in question is one produced by an independent outfit out of Coral Gables, Fla., entitled "Today in America." Former football hall of famer and broadcaster Terry Bradshaw is the commercial's host and narrator. 

Under the plan, a segment on the show will be devoted to showing off Parsippany and telling the township's story.

The $20,000 reportedly will go toward production costs and securing numerous airings for the program. According to the mayor, the segment will air one time nationally, via the FOX Business Network, and 19 times on CNN Headline News through cable operators at the regional level and/or on regional news networks in many of the top 100 markets in the country.

"The 'Today in America' segment wil be a great economic development tool," Barberio said. "We get the license to use high-quality production to promote the township as a great place to do business and a great place to live.  We also generate a greater pride among Parsippany residents."

The mayor said the segment on Parsippany will feature a number of interviews with local figures along with footage of various scenes around the township. He added that he will meet with Parsippany Area Chamber of Commerce President Robert Peluso to come up with ways to show the town in the best light.

Only one council member gave a thumbs-down to the plan.

John Cesaro, now running for Morris County freeholder, said he voted no because he did not have enough information to make a good decision.

"I have nothing against the idea," he told Patch. "It may turn out to be an innovative way to promote the town. I hope so."

Barberio said the $20,000 cost is an investment into Parsippany's quest to bring rateables within its borders.

"If just one company relocates to Parsippany, the tax benefit will far outweigh Parsippany’s cost toward the production," he said.  

joe raich March 01, 2012 at 03:30 PM
Srewed up priorities again. Our Summer Concert Series has already been cut in half. Guess the mayor's corporate buddys don't get enough money from us buying their product or service to afford the previous donations of a couple of shows. East Hanover has no problem producing great shows.Parsippany can't get it's act together on so-o-o many levels.
Jonathan Nelson March 01, 2012 at 05:25 PM
The segment can include photos of Lower Lake Hiawatha, but that may confuse viewers that Parsippany is in the Mississippi River Delta. They can also broadcast screen shots of the Parsippany Web Site but that would only confuse the people of Lodi and Lydhurst who have the exact same over priced cookie cutter website. I'm being facetious but a pattern is developing where the mayor introduces a poorly thought out idea with the council rubber stamping it without question.
Frank Drebin March 01, 2012 at 08:07 PM
Right on Mr. Nelson Where is Billy Mayes when you need him. I s this another great idea like the over payment for the great township web site? Is the Town Council going to debut the infomercial on Oprah, or the Barnum & Bailey Circus?
Beachdudeca March 02, 2012 at 04:46 PM
OMG ,, really , I would have thought someone would have put Jane Krakowski out there as the spokesperson if you wanted to make it town specific ,,
Frank Drebin March 05, 2012 at 03:14 PM
According the the latest article it was another closed door meeting and approval. I guess it's another the Mayor wants the Mayor gets. What happened to the public meeting and residents input?

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