San Francisco has seen a flurry of bad press lately — from popular retailers like Nordstrom and Whole Foods closing down to the murder of Cash App founder Bob Lee in early April.
Now, the city is embarking on an “expensive” advertising campaign to boost tourism and exceed the number of visitors expected this year, NBC Bay Area reports. The $6 million campaign includes San Francisco’s first-ever TV ad, which was first released on Tuesday.
“Welcome to the most beautiful city in the world, never the same, but always San Francisco,” the video begins and continues to show some of the city’s iconic landmarks and views, such as the Golden Gate Bridge and Union Square.
However, within the first 22 hours of its release, the ad was already heavily criticized online.
One user commented on the video, “SF is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, but this ad is completely missing its charm.” Others pointed out that the ad’s flashy nature ignores some of San Francisco’s core issues, such as outdoor drug use and homelessness.
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One comment read: “Now show me homeless zombies and broken car windows.” “Lol how about don’t spend [money] on a commercial and have the police catch all these car thieves, clean up the homeless, catch fentanyl dealers,” another user wrote.
On Tuesday, San Francisco Mayor London Breed proposed a $692 million budget to help the city’s homeless, NBC Bay Area reported. The budget will go for hundreds of additional shelter beds, affordable housing slots, and resources for those at risk of homelessness. The proposed budget is scheduled to go to the Board of Supervisors in June.