The ad agency behind Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin’s TV ads won a $268,000 state contract to produce a promotional tourism video, in part because of its “familiarity” with the governor, according to the CEO of the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC).
No other firm submitted a bid to produce the video, states VPM, and the agency, POOLHOUSE, “has no record of doing work for state agencies on the commonwealth’s procurement site. The contract cut against VTC’s procurement policies, which require the taxpayer-funded corporation to solicit at least six bids for procuring services worth more than $100,000. But the group’s CEO, Rita McClenny, said she has the authority to overrule those policies at her discretion and pointed to VTC rules that give the corporation’s CEO “unlimited authority to procure goods and services.”
“VTC initially gave Poolhouse the contract without soliciting any bids at all. Mike McMahon, vice president of operations and finance at VTC, said when the corporation inquired about the governor’s availability to film the video, Youngkin’s office expressed concern about the perception that the procurement process was biased.”
The post added that the invitation to bid on the project initially went to both POOLHOUSE and The Martin Agency, but The Martin Agency, said it couldn’t meet the project’s deadlines and scope of work. VTC then contacted Henninger Media Services, but Henninger didn’t respond to VTC’s invitation to bid on the project..
(Capitol Communicator reported that POOLHOUSE plans to open a D.C. office.)