Detroit social media was abuzz this weekend when a new ad campaign from Detroit’s largest developer Bedrock showed up on the windows of the Vinton Building. The graphic showed a very white crowd along with the line, “See Detroit Like We Do.”
So I went to Woodward and Congress and pic.twitter.com/M4Hk55minC— Aaron Foley (@aaronkfoley) July 22, 2017
Detroit has about an 83 percent African-American population, and Bedrock owns over 90 buildings downtown. This is also a time when many in the city are thinking about race relations; July 23 is the 50th anniversary of the start of the events of the 1967 rebellion.
Late Sunday night, Bedrock and Dan Gilbert offered a response on Facebook, noting that the one panel was part of many panels that were supposed to go up, and they took it down after more of the company heard about it. “Who cares how "we see Detroit"?!” says the message.
"We screwed up badly the graphic package that was partially installed on the retail windows of the first floor of the Vinton Building, in downtown Detroit, a structure we have been rebuilding for over two years and is nearing completion.
We messed up in two major ways:
1. Although not intended to create the kind of feelings it did, the slogan/statement we used on these graphics was tone deaf, in poor taste and does not reflect a single value or philosophy that we stand for at Bedrock Development or in our entire Family of companies. We have killed the "See Detroit As We Do" campaign.
Who cares how "we see Detroit"?!
... What is important is that Detroit comes together as a city that is open, diverse, inclusive and is being redeveloped in a way that offers opportunities for all of its people and the expected numerous new residents that will flock to our energized, growing, job-producing town where grit, hard-work and brains meld together to raise the standard of living of all of its people.
We immediately killed this dumb campaign slogan as soon as it was communicated more widely in our company. You won't be seeing that tagline anywhere again.
2. The full graphic package that was slated to be installed across all of the retail windows on the Vinton Building was a very inclusive and diverse set of images that reflects the population of the city that we do business in and also reflects the diversity among our own workforce in Detroit.”
The statement goes on, and offers the full graphic package that would have gone up.
The full statement can be read here: