Documents show that the company that made a Rhode Island tourism video that included a clip filmed in Iceland was selected in March based on advice from a state employee who had worked for that company weeks prior.
The public relations firm running Rhode Island's tourism campaign recommended the state economic development agency hire a different company to make the video, but was overruled, according to documents released to The Associated Press following a public records request.
The video that Rhode Island released in late March was quickly pulled after being mocked for showing footage of a Reykjavik concert hall.
A Providence-based video production service, IndieWhip, made the video.
The Commerce Corporation's art director says he recommended IndieWhip because of the company's qualifications, not because he used to work there.