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While Nation Hypes Economic Apocalypse, Houston Businesses Invest in Growth

HOUSTON, Dec. 7, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- At an apocalypse-themed award gala last week ("Adpocalypse"), the Business Marketing Association (BMA) recognized local ad agencies and corporations for the best ad campaigns, websites, mobile phone apps and other marketing efforts targeting business buyers. On display were lots of clever strategies and creative work from dozens of area businesses. But the real spotlight seemed to be on the business community's confidence in the economy.

When the economy falters, corporations often slash marketing budgets first. During the 2008-2009 economic recession, companies cut billions of dollars in marketing spend across all sectors nationwide as the economy cooled. But today—as the rest of America buzzes about the Fiscal Cliff, inflation and a cultural fascination with economic collapse—Houston business leaders are laying out new strategies and campaigns for growth to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars in marketing investment.

With its business-friendly reputation and status as Energy Capital of the World, Houston's economy has rarely walked in lockstep with the rest of the nation. And last week's BMA Houston Lantern Awards show was a prime example.

"This is a bellwether for Houston's economic resilience," said David Rosenfeld, Vice President of marketing firm Unleaded Communications. His agency was named Agency of Year for the second year in a row at the awards, and also won Best in Show for a national campaign for one of the world's largest corporations, GDF SUEZ.

Rosenfeld continues: "These companies have invested all of this money, and it will come back to them in the form of revenue growth, competition for global talent and the overall value of these companies. The best of them will see $10 or more for every dollar they invest in marketing to other businesses. Service companies selling to the oilfield, tech companies selling to healthcare providers—the Lantern Awards really showed the robustness and diversity of Houston's economy."

The event was just another proof point in Houston's reputation as a stronghold for American business. Earlier this year, Houston topped Forbes magazine's "Coolest Places to Live" list. Forbes took into account your typical cool factors such as nightlife, culture, restaurants and diversity. But, critically, it also included the strength of economy, the job market and cost of living. Forbes also ranked Houston as No. 1 in "Big Cities Where Self-Employment is Growing the Fastest" and "Cities Where a Paycheck Stretches the Furthest" this year.

Founded in 1922, the Business Marketing Association is the pre-eminent service organization for business-to-business marketing and communications. BMA Houston created the Lantern Awards of Texas more than two decades ago to highlight top-quality creative and strategic business-to-business communications. You can see Unleaded's Lantern Award winners at www.ulcomm.com/apocalypse.

nrand@ulcomm.com

713/874-8200

About Unleaded Communications

Unleaded partners with its clients to help them grow, change and manage marketing-related risk. From serving as an outsourced marketing department to helping corporate marketing leaders get ahead, Unleaded provides market research, marketing strategy, public relations, creative services and ongoing marketing support. All delivered as an extension of your team. Learn more at www.ulcomm.com/apocalypse.

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Source:Unleaded Communications