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New York City ad campaign takes a swipe at Boston: ‘We get more done by 8 a.m. than Boston does in a day’

One of the “We ❤️ NYC” campaign ads. This one takes a swipe at Boston.Debbie Saslaw

New York City has launched an advertising campaign to “cut through the divisiveness and negativity” that has plagued the city since the pandemic. True to its unifying goal, it quickly featured a swipe at Boston.

Introduced last week, the “We ❤️ NYC” campaign is meant to represent a new era for the city, reminding people they can come together no matter their individual background or what community they hail from, campaign promoters told the New York Times.

But one of the first ads takes aim at New York’s neighbor to the north.

“We get more done by 8 a.m. than Boston does in a day,” says one of the advertisements, which one Twitter user described as “very rude.”


An apparent update to Milton Glaser’s famous 1977 “I ❤️ NY” logo, the new campaign has been criticized for its choice of font, the uneven stacking of the characters, even the shading and placement of the heart.

One commenter has deemed the design “literally the worst,” while one person was adamant that “if there’s going to be a riot in NYC, it’ll be over this.”

By picking a fight with Boston, it has made even more enemies.

One person assessed the ad in simple terms on Twitter: “They hate us cuz they ain’t us.”

“If they’re name-checking Boston, we’re living rent free in their heads just a wee bit,” another observed. “Sorry to me this reads like an ad for Boston,” a commenter agreed.

Many went political in their rebuttal, touting Mayor Michelle Wu — who could not be reached for comment Monday — and her leadership.

“Listen i know boston shuts down at 8pm while nyc never sleeps, but at least boston has a competent mayor who actually cares about her constituents nyc cant say the same,” one person tweeted in a reference to New York City Mayor Eric Adams.


Even New Yorkers said targeting Boston was trying too hard.”

“This negates the whole premise — that Boston is never even on our mind!” one person pointed out. Another accused the city of having a bullying problem and that the advertisement defeats the purpose of the campaign.

“Sure go ahead pick on a city less than 1/10th the population of their own city. This does nothing to promote NYC,” the person tweeted. A Bostonian quickly responded, “1/10th the population [but] 2x the intellect.”

“Even if this were true, why is this something to be proud of? Sounds like NYers are overworked and sleep deprived,” another wrote.

Still some New Yorkers appreciated the brashness, championing the city for maintaining its “rude” reputation.

Invoking the legendary rivalry between the Red Sox and New York Yankees, one person offered words of advice to prevent a full-out brawl: “Keep it in the ball park.

Whether Boston responds has yet to be determined, but some were eager for a riposte.

“We’ve been taking the high road for far too long with this NYC situation,” one said.

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Shannon Larson can be reached at shannon.larson@globe.com. Follow her @shannonlarson98.