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Council disagrees with Brainerd ad agency

The Wadena City Council met with a representative of a Brainerd-based advertising agency to go over what Councilman Don Niles described as a "miscommunication" over whether the agency had held up their end of a contract.

Scott Mitchell of Adventure Advertising addressed the council during its regular meeting Tuesday as it revisited the issue of a possible new town logo.

Mitchell said the company is about seven years old with clients in North America and Australia.

Mitchell said Adventure staff spent time in the community and finalized two proposed logos: one with the tagline, "Where people come together," which he described having as a social media aesthetic, and another with the tagline, "You've come to the right pace," which was partly inspired by slower traffic caused by U.S. Highway 10 narrowing from four lanes to two lanes, as well as the town's historical aspects.

Council members Jeanette Baymler and Niles said if they were just looking for a logo, there were able artists in town who could have helped. Instead, they had also expected surveys, public perception, help with marketing and other aspects of a branding campaign.

Mitchell said the price of $6,000 was significantly discounted, and Adventure didn't say they would do advertising, website or a social media campaign.

Mitchell also said he was content that more than two thirds of the people who took the time to take their survey liked the logos, and the ones who disliked the logos had a problem with the process and not the artwork itself.

"I'm not impressed, especially for a $6,000 price tag," Councilman Toby Pierce said.

Mayor Wayne Wolden felt differently. He said he showed the "pace" logo to Duluth, and they liked it, and a simple tagline has worked well for them too.

Council member Kay Browne said Adventure Advertising's contract promised they would give Wadena a brand statement, and that hasn't happened, and she would like to see the actual list of assets they made, rather than only the end product logo.

In the end, the council approved a motion to pay $5,000 instead of $6,000 to Adventure Advertising, and pay the difference contingent on the company bringing in more work.

No decision was made as to whether to use either of the new logos.