Kane County delays decision on whether to pay for videos it could get for free

 
 
Updated 8/13/2019 5:03 PM

Kane County officials will take 30 days to decide if they want to pay a Florida-based production company $27,000 for promotional videos it is willing to create for free.

The potential cost came as a surprise suggestion from county board Chairman Chris Lauzen Tuesday morning.

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"Kane County pays its way when it's, for instance, our union employees or nonunion employees. We pay for the services we receive," he said. "It's true that you do get what you pay for. So if we have language in there that we will spend up to $27,000, in my mind, that's almost like a money-back guarantee."

The price tag matches the cost for services the company, Information Matrix, originally proposed to the county. The company later offered to do the work pro-bono after the Daily Herald asked questions about its promises to reach millions of viewers across the country on public television and prime-time cable shows.

Company officials said they could not guarantee millions of viewers or the airing on any public television stations, but the results they described reflected an average client experience. Information Matrix has no direct relationship or programming control over any public television stations or cable networks.

The videos Information Matrix produces are designed to appear between regular TV programs. One video the company would produce would get distributed to public television stations. Another would go to cable networks. A third video would be sent to companies that might like to do business in Kane County.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The public television segment was always pitched as a free service. It was the remaining two videos that had a $27,000 cost attached. Information Matrix officials told the county they would do the entire project for free because it had secured funding from another source.

Information Matrix officials declined to share the source of that outside funding.

"We have been advised by our legal counsel not to share the names of our valuable sponsorship partners and underwriters," said Anthony Davis, an executive producer for Information Matrix.

Lauzen attempted to dispel any concerns board members may have about the videos not generating millions of TV viewers. He advised the board to focus on the value of the videos themselves and discount any hopes of national advertising "so there's not any misunderstanding."

"It's quality production work, not national TV advertising," Lauzen said. "We know advertising on the national level costs millions and millions of dollars."

The idea got a mixed reaction from board members. Some said they would rather have the videos produced by a local company if the cost were similar. Others said they would give Information Matrix a shot if the price were free and reserve the $27,000 for a paid video if they didn't like what Information Matrix delivered.

The board voted to take 30 days to consider the offer and have Information Matrix vetted by the state's attorney's office.

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