Abbott Ad Asks British Businesses to ‘Declare Independence’

By , The Texas Tribune, texastribune.org

Gov. Greg Abbott is using this July Fourth weekend to urge British businesses to “declare independence” by moving to Texas — a pitch that coincides with the United Kingdom’s own recent step toward sovereignty.

TexasOne, a non-profit organization that serves as the marketing arm of the state’s economic development office, announced Saturday it is pushing the message with a digital and social media campaign aimed at executives in London. The campaign includes ads that urge companies to “declare independence from high taxes” and relocate to Texas, where they will enjoy the “freedom to prosper.”

The idea of independence has been omnipresent in the United Kingdom lately. Abbott’s pitch dovetails with the fallout from the UK’s remarkable vote to leave the European Union, the so-called “Brexit” that rocked world markets and created economic uncertainty across the continent.

“Independence Day is the perfect opportunity for Texas to launch this campaign in the U.K. to highlight how Texas offers companies the freedom to prosper and is a beacon of opportunity,” Tracye McDaniel, president and CEO of TexasOne, said in a statement. “Texas is inspiring a business revolution.”

TexasOne said the ads can be seen on the Financial Times home page and 7,000 other London-based website, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.

Abbott is taking a page from his predecessor, Rick Perry, who launched advertising campaigns in California and New York in 2013 to lure businesses to relocate in Texas.