In an open letter to the industry, the National Marine Manufacturers Association defended its decision to redirect Grow Boating funds back to manufacturers and dealers rather than continue a national advertising campaign.
The decision was made recently because of a decrease in available funds, which would be insufficient for an effective campaign.
With sales of new boats and engines down 25 percent this year, the funds available to Grow Boating through the engine assessment were expected to be reduced to $7 million or $7.5 million for 2009 — well below the $12 million NMMA averaged annually during the first three years of the program.
“NMMA members concluded that if we couldn’t produce an effective national advertising campaign, then they and their dealers were better positioned to use the reduced assessment funds for their individual marketing efforts,” NMMA president Thom Dammrich said in the letter.
“This would better enable each manufacturer and its dealer network to move people from shopping to purchase as opposed to the scaled-back Grow Boating advertising campaign. And so the decision was made to redirect 85 percent of the Grow Boating assessments paid by boatbuilders back to the boatbuilders for use to assist dealers,” he added.