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State ad campaign to target business

The state is preparing to launch a $50 million advertising campaign designed to attract and retain business.

The money, approved in last year's budget, would be used in a campaign to target both small and large businesses to consider New York "open for business," Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Thursday.

Cuomo told members of his Cabinet that the ad campaign will start soon. In response to questions by reporters, he said the purpose is to have companies take a second look at the state as a place for doing business.

"If you think New York is anti-business, think again, because it's not," Cuomo said.

The governor's chief economic adviser, Kenneth Adams, said the initial phase will be focused on an in-state ad campaign, but eventually the effort also will be directed at "businesses well beyond our border."

While touting the state as a business location, the ad campaign's out-of-state commercials likely will be tagged by political pundits as further proof that Cuomo is interested in running for president in 2016.

"Me?" Cuomo said when asked if he would personally appear in the ads. "Would you like me to appear in the ads?

"Only in the ones that air out of state," Cuomo joked, before quickly saying he would not be in the ads.

A Mohawk Valley newspaper recently reported director Spike Lee was in Johnstown to shoot a commercial for the ad campaign at a yogurt factory.

The initial phase of the ads, overseen by a Manhattan ad agency, is expected to be unveiled as early as next week.