What's happening with I ♥NY?
Brand Channel website about this, "I ♥ NY (stately)." The issue is between the State of New York and the City of New York. From the article:
The debate surrounding I ♥ NY is not about its effectiveness; it is about what I ♥ NY actually stands for—New York or New York City. And it cannot be "bi-," no matter how badly the Empire State Development Corporation wants it to be nor how appropriate that seems when speaking of New York City.
This RFP calls for a "restoration" campaign—but a "revisionist" campaign would be more accurate. As much as the state of New York wants to take ownership of—and leverage—the I ♥ NY brand, it needs to realize that despite the logo legally belonging to the state, the hearts and minds of consumers and residents see it as a calling card for the city. Bully to whoever had the bright idea of naming the state after the city, huh? (Too bad for Albany it wasn't the other way around.)
Taking things into perspective, New York is not the first state-city relationship that defies a unifying brand. Would anyone suggest that a single brand for California could equally represent the state, San Francisco, and San Diego—to say nothing of Yuba City and Eureka? If Las Vegas were called Nevada City, would anyone be more likely to identify Sin City with the rest of the state? What happens in Nevada outside Vegas may stay in Nevada, but it's probably because few care to know what happened there to begin with.
The real answer is to separate this into I ♥ New York State and I ♥ NYC campaigns.