Ad agency welcomes probe into NJ's $25M 'Stronger than the Storm' marketing effort

TRENTON - The ad agency behind an effort to promote the Jersey Shore after Superstorm Sandy is defending the campaign amid calls for a deeper federal investigation.

Federal officials are taking a closer look at how Gov. Chris Christie's administration spent $25 million on the series of catchy commercials featuring the governor's family.

"Given widely inaccurate reporting on Stronger than the Storm, we welcome the Inspector General's report," MWW, the agency behind the campaign, said in a statement yesterday. "It will show that MWW's proposal included no mention or suggestion of using the governor in the paid advertising campaign. The decision to include the governor was arrived at after the contract was awarded, based on timing, availability, and federal expenditure rules. Assertions to the contrary are simple incorrect."

Click here to read MWW's full statement.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone Jr.'s office says the inspector general at the Department of Housing and Urban Development will audit the campaign.

The inspector general conducted a basic review last year at Pallone's urging. Pallone says the office found enough evidence to justify a full audit.

Christie spokesman Colin Reed says the federal government approved the campaign and that the administration expects a review will find it was effective.

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