ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - After controversies about the public relations contractor and casting the actors for the state's new tourism ads, taxpayers can see what they're getting for their $2 million.
The New Mexico Tourism Department ads are titled "New Mexico True" and were produced by an-out-of-state company in an effort to bring more people to the state this summer.
The ads feature some of New Mexico's landscape, recreation spots, restaurants and cultural offerings. They began airing Tuesday in Colorado, Texas, and Arizona.
The awarding of the contract to a Texas company was controversial. Many local producers believed it should have been given to a local company.
Tourism Department officials defend the decision.
"This company came to the pitch with this "New Mexico True" and we just believed that it was the true New Mexico, very authentic" spokesperson Veronica Valencia said.
Valencia said the department is very pleased with how the ads came out.
There was also some controversy when one casting call for the commercials sought light-skinned Hispanics or Caucasians . Valencia said that casting call was for the tourists in the ads.
The finished commercials include some dark-skinned Hispanics and Native Americans.
The Tourism Department said they are focusing on airing the campaign in neighboring states because residents there are within driving distance and can make a quick trip here. They will expand the ads to other areas in the fall.
Celebrating one of his personal heroes, President Barack Obama praised Nelson Mandela as the last great liberator of the 20th century, urging the world to carry on his legacy by fighting inequality, poverty and discrimination.
Operation Gingerbread arrived in Albuquerque Tuesday for an event to raise funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Meet Meggie, this week's Pet of the Week. If you're interested in Meggie or any other furry four-legged friend, call the Animal Humane Association of New Mexico at visit the Animal Humane website.
It's an industry growing exponentially, but training for it is not.
A Colorado company is recalling 45 tons of meat and poultry products a federal agency says were produced under unsanitary conditions.
New Mexico could become the third state in the nation to let doctors help their terminally-ill patients end their lives by prescribing medication to end their suffering.