ALBANY, N.Y. (WIVB) – New York State will end its successful “I Love NY” highway campaign, the state DOT announced Friday.
The announcement comes after the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration sent a letter Thursday to New York transportation officials saying the state stands to lose $14 million in federal funding for failing to remove the 500-plus “I Love NY” signs.
The state spent more than $8 million to create and install the “I Love NY” signs in recent years. Federal officials told Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo to remove them because they were unsafe, but he refused.
— Dave Greber (@DaveGreber4) February 2, 2018
““The overwhelmingly successful ‘I Love NY’ campaign has supported and enhanced New York’s $105 billion tourism industry for five years,” the NYSDOT announced in a statement Friday. “Since the Governor initiated this branding effort, the number of tourists to New York State has increased by 18 percent and the direct economic impact of tourism on the State has skyrocketed by more than 20 percent.”
The current campaign and signs are now entering their fifth year, and the message has “run its useful course”, the NYSDOT statement added.
The state has plans to launch a new tourism campaign with the slogan “New York has it all!”.
“The campaign will have, as usual, comprehensive television and print advertising, as well as new road signage,” the statement said. “Existing materials will be reused but, as the signs will be redesigned for the new campaign, we will consult with FHWA during this process. It will be a new campaign launched for the summer tourism cycle and as such must be concluded before the September FHWA deadline anyway.”