In 2010, Congress and the administration wanted to increase user fees on general aviation from $7 billion to $15 billion. This would have caused major financial hardship for pilots, communities and businesses that benefit from the aviation industry, and would have damaged an already struggling American economy.
Something had to be done to change the conversation if the user fee proposal was going to be defeated. AOPA’s traditional lobbying effort would not be enough.
Strategy & Tactics
In the span of just six weeks, WMG designed and executed a national, multi-media advocacy campaign using celebrities Harrison Ford and Morgan Freeman to inform and mobilize members of the aviation community and others affected by the new fees.
Thousands of advocates joined in to defeat of the user fee proposal. WMG raised awareness of AOPA among opinion leaders and the general public, and enhanced the organization’s brand and stature. As Craig Fuller, president and CEO of AOPA put it, “The average American sees thousands of ads each day, Washington Media Group makes sure yours is the one they remember.”