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Fight For Control of Advertising Budget in Ocean City

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By Bryan Russo

Rodney the Lifeguard is the face of Ocean City tourism, and millions of people have seen his face and heard his message all over the East Coast. Rodney was the creation of Baltimore based ad firm, MGH Advertising, who got a two-year contract extension this week from the mayor and council.

Yet, behind the scenes, there's been bickering over who should be controlling the way that MGH spends the town's hefty tourism budget.

"I want to get government out of the tourism business, and I want business handling tourism," Councilwoman Margaret Pillas says.

Fellow councilwoman Mary Knight thinks handing tax payer dollars to other tax payers is a recipe for disaster.

"It would be totally irresponsible to give private industry that power. One of my biggest problems is that there is no plan," Knight says.

MGH and Rodney will continue to do their jobs for Ocean City, at least for the next two years.

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