MUM: Airport Director Ron Mathieu won't answer questions about $40,000 expenditure at child's school.

What follows is a discussion by Little Rock Airport Commissioner Thomas Schueck, Airport Finance Director Carol Snay, Airport Executive Eirector Ronald Mathieu and Airport Commission Chairman Bob East at the June 15 meeting of the Airport Commission on the airport advertising expense, which jumped $40,000 in May. Listen to an mp3 file of the discussion here.

Schueck: Now, down underneath administrative expenses we’ve got marketing and air service development we go from $6,000 last year to $47,000 this year? That’s a big increase.

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Snay: Yeah, we had a $40,000 advertising that we had this year that we didn’t have last year.

Schueck: What did we do there, you know?

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Mathieu: This … Sir, as you know, we’re pushing our new website, we’re pushing the development of the terminal, we’re pushing new brand on website so there are a number of things that we did not do last year in terms of advertising because we were developing … that as a result of the retreat with the commission. We wanted to go out there now and really start pushing the airport brand. Uh, I’ve done a number of television and radio interviews as you know and that’s in my executive director report as well. So we’re just really pushing our website now and driving people to the website because the more people go to the website and book their flights the more revenue we end up making, so that whole

advertising portion that was dormant last year we’re now starting to ramp up.

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Schueck: Well, I hate to tell you this, but I haven’t seen any advertisements on the airport. Course, I use Tivo a lot.

Mathieu: Most of it is not TV.

East: This is part of what we talked about at the beginning of the year, spending more money on our website and getting the airport out in the public as an economic development tool. So we’re just starting and I hope we spend more money than we’re doing.

Schueck: “Well, you should be visible somewhere and I haven’t seen it.”

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Mathieu: Well if you remember Race for the Cure we had banners up there and there were other public events that we’ve had and we had we’ve been advertising.

So, and we’ve we cut back in some areas as well. We’re trying to make sure we have some impact but I think you’re going to see more things happen as we go forward

East: And we’re not doing doing newspaper ads and things like we used to do, they’re kind of throwaway in our opinion, so we’re trying to do more focused things.

Schueck: The point that I was trying to make was I hadn’t seen anything myself.

East: That might not be the best test of whether it’s good or not.

Schueck: Well it’s the only test I’ve got. … OK, let’s move on.

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