It cost half a million dollars, but Aucklanders say the newly announced slogan for its city is a waste of money, calling it "pathetic'' and "a joke".
The Weekend Herald revealed today that up to $500,000 was spent by Auckland Council bureaucrats on a new city slogan: The Place Desired by Many.
But the title - a loose translation of Tamaki Makaurau - has been slammed by dozens of Herald readers unhappy about the slogan itself and the amount of money spent on it.
Almost 200 emails had steadily flooded in by 11am, with only a few positive about the new phrase.
"Seriously?! What a pathetic waffley inane slogan. An embarrassment to every Aucklander,'' Linda Stevens said.
"The advertising company, branding company and 115 councillors should be sacked. We do not need to spend any money on a slogan - 'Auckland' is just fine.''
Chris Pendleton said of the slogan: ''Really? They obviously haven't tried driving in it or using a train in it or buying a house in it.''
Braid Cochrane said: "No matter how much money they spend on yet another slogan, Auckland will always be known as The City of Sails - sounds good, looks good and [is] nearer to the truth.
"Stick with the tried and true! Stop wasting my money.''
Another reader just called the slogan "stupid.''
Others suggested the money should have been put into something that would benefit the city in a better way - such as feeding the homeless or donating it to local schools.
Floyd Gould wrote: "The slogan is meaningless. Absolutely dreadful even if it were free. Better offer schools a $10,000 prize for pupils to propose an excellent slogan.''
John Watsons, who said he had worked in publishing, copywriting, advertising and PR for several decades, described it as "the slogan desired by no one".
"I can honestly say I would be massively embarrassed to present an invoice of that magnitude to a client after submitting a slogan as amateurish and uninspiring as 'The Place Desired by Many'.
"The cost is extortionate and the work submitted is pathetic."
The city's proposed new global brand - The Place Desired by Many - was worked on by three project staff over two year, while115 council staff attended workshops.
Council-controlled organisation Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (Ateed) says the catchphrase was never meant to be a slogan, but was part of an "Auckland story" that could be marketed to a global audience.