by Colin Smith
Town Council has renewed its advertising contract with Morinville Online for 2021.
Council approved the contract, which will run from March 1 to October 31 this year and total no more than $4,000, at its regular meeting Tuesday.
A previous contract with what was then known as Morinville News, totalling up to $10,000, was approved by Council in January 22, 2020. Of that amount, only $6600 was spent with the publication.
The Town Administration usually handles advertising and marketing purchases, but under the Municipal Government Act Council approval is required because of Councillor Stephen Dafoe’s pecuniary interest in the contract, as owner of Pawn Marketing & Publishing Inc. – publisher of Morinville Online.
The Administration recommended the contract be approved.
For its $4,000 the Town will be getting two top site banners monthly and two midplacement ads, with multiple changes permitted throughout the month. All ads are linked to content. If purchased separately the ad purchase price would be $1,800 per month, but the Town received a $1,300 contract pricing discount, resulting in a total of $500 per month.
“I think it’s tremendous value for the money,” said Councillor Lawrence Giffin. “I don’t think we’d get this good a deal anywhere else.”
In response to a question, Communications and Legislative Services Manager Tracy Dalzell-Heise told Council that the advertising package price had gone down [over the years] because a print edition of Morinville News is no longer being published.
Morinville News provided free movie events, festival and concert sponsorships as part of its previous value adds on the contract. In lieu of those, this year a $4,000 Morinville Online credit will enable non-profit groups to advertise free of charge courtesy of the Town of Morinville.
The Town will also receive social media shares to the Morinville Online Facebook page at no cost as is the case with this publication’s other advertisers.
“I was surprised to see so much value for such limited funds,” said Councillor Sarah Hall.
Dafoe left the meeting, held by video, during the discussion and vote on the contract. Council voted unanimously for its approval.
Prior to bringing the contract before Council, the Administration discussed the matter with Alberta Municipal Affairs to ensure the matter was handled in compliance with the Municipal Government Act.
*Publisher’s Note: Morinville News ceased publishing a print edition in November of 2017. Previous Town contract was $700 per month. This was lowered in July of 2020 to better reflect client’s actual ad usage and requirements.