San Francisco Launches $6 Million Ad-Campaign to Lure Tourists Amid Retail Exodus and Drug Crisis The ad campaign includes the city's first-ever television commercial.

By Madeline Garfinkle

Wirestock Creators | Shutterstock
Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, CA.

San Francisco's had a rash of bad press lately — from big-name retailers like Nordstrom and Whole Foods shuttering businesses to the high-profile killing of Cash App founder Bob Lee in early April.

Now, the city is embarking on an "expensive" ad campaign to boost tourism and surpass the number of visitors expected this year, NBC Bay Area reported. The $6 million dollar campaign includes the first-ever television commercial for San Francisco, which was first released on Tuesday.

"Welcome to the most beautiful city in the world, where it's never the same, but always San Francisco," the video starts and goes on to showcase 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 being released, the ad already received harsh criticism online.

"SF is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, but this ad completely misses its charm," one user commented on the video. Others noted that the cheery nature of the ad ignores some of San Francisco's core issues, such as open-air drug use and homelessness.

Related: Elon Musk Calls San Francisco 'Post-Apocalyptic' as Another Major Retailer Leaves Due to Crime

"Now show me the homeless zombies and broken car windows," one comment reads. "Lol how about don't spend [money] on a commercial and actually have your police arrest all those car thieves, clean up the homeless, arrest the fentanyl dealers," another user wrote.

On Tuesday, San Francisco Mayor London Breed proposed a $692 million budget to help the homeless population in the city, NBC Bay Area reported. The budget would go towards hundreds of additional shelter beds, affordable housing slots, and resources for those at risk of homelessness. The budget proposal is set to go ahead to the Board of Supervisors in June.

Madeline Garfinkle

Entrepreneur Staff

News Writer

Madeline Garfinkle is a News Writer at She is a graduate from Syracuse University, and received an MFA from Columbia University. 

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