April 1, 2023

The Nerve

Where Government Gets Exposed

SC Entities Dish Out Dollars in Boeing Tribute

The NerveThe winter edition of SC Biz magazine is a glowing tribute to Boeing and those who enticed the aerospace giant to build a second 787 assembly line in the South Carolina Lowcountry.

Boeing, you may recall, announced plans to build in South Carolina last October after closed-door dealings by political leaders promised the company at least $400 million in incentives. But South Carolinians are paying for the right to let Boeing build jetliners in the Palmetto State in other ways, as well.

Consider that no fewer than 10 different public entities or organizations that receive public money took out ads in SC Biz, some specifically welcoming Boeing to the state.

Among entities that bought full-page ads:

  • The South Carolina Research Authority;
  • South Carolina Public Railways;
  • South Carolina State University;
  • Medical University of South Carolina; and
  • Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina.

Full-page ads in SC Biz can cost as much as $5,295, depending on advertising frequency, although premium positions, such the back cover, where MUSC ran its ad, cost more. The going rate for placement on SC Biz’s back cover is $6,615.

Other entities that took out partial ads included: Trident Technical College, the Lowcountry Economic Network and Alliance, Colleton County Economic Alliance, Economic Development Partnership (an organization encompassing eco devo efforts in Aiken and Edgefield counties) and the Orangeburg County Development Corp.

Partial-page ads can cost between $2,510 and $4,330, apiece, although that rate can drop substantially if the advertiser agrees to take out ads in future editions.

There were eight full-page ads taken out by private entities, as opposed to five taken out by entities funded all or partially with public dollars, and six partial-page ads taken out by private companies, compared to five from organizations funded all or partially with public money.

When factoring the costs associated with ad production, ad placement and media buying, it wouldn’t be surprising if state entities and organizations that receive state dollars spent more than $50,000 in all to advertise in SC Biz’s Boeing-centric edition.

While it’s uncertain if those that pumped tens of thousands of dollars into SC Biz’s advertising coffers got their money’s worth, it would seem unlikely South Carolina taxpayers will net anything close to a decent return on their “investment.”

Reach Dietrich at (803) 779-5022 or kevin@scpolicycouncil.com.

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The Nerve