Bedrock pulls building ad, issues apology for lack of diversity

- An ad lacking diversity entitled "See Detroit like we do" was taken down after Dan Mullen, the president of Bedrock got wind of it.

FOX 2 is told Mullen and Dan Gilbert were livid about the messaging mishap and they are not alone.

"I was like what are they thinking, what are they doing?

The ad that was on the Vinton building in downtown Detroit had everyone seeing white in a city that's 83 percent black.

"To be totally honest? It's insulting," said one African-American Detroiter.

Pictures of the ad went viral on social media and were quickly condemned.

"In Detroit, this community is not going to deal with anything they perceive to be disrespectful, intentional or not," said Eric Thomas, brand strategist.

FOX 2: "And that picture? That graphic?"

"That message," Thomas said.

Brand strategist Eric Thomas from Saga Marketing says his team was recently in talks with Rock Ventures about helping it shape more inclusive storytelling. 

He was told their services weren't needed. Then, this happened.

"It doesn't completely represent the city of Detroit," said one white Detroiter, Mike Miller.

"It was insulting when I first looked at it, I'm like that doesn't make any sense," said a female African American Detroiter.

"It's not about a picture it's about a thought process," Thomas said. "What you really need is a community voice to look at the outbound messages and say is this an accurate representation of the community as a whole?"

Dan Gilbert was quick to own the messaging mishap saying they killed the "See Detroit as we do campaign."

He called the slogan on the ad "tone deaf" and "in poor taste." He added that it does not "reflect a single value or philosophy that we stand for."

He says the ad would have including more pictures that had yet to go up, which would have portrayed a diverse Detroit.

The Bedrock blunder could not have come at a worse time. Metro Detroit is looking back on the 1967 rebellion and as many black Detroiters look ahead to Detroit's future, they question their place in it.

"The only thing the city is concerned about is, getting white folks to move back in," said Al Ramsey, a black lifelong Detroiter. "And basically the people that are here and been here the last 50 years, there doesn't seem like there's any hope for us."

Thomas weighed in on Dan Gilbert's response.

"I think he was just as surprised as everybody else," Thomas said. "He clearly didn't approve one billboard or one message out of all the things that were happening in the entire Quicken Loans family across America. And it looks when you read his message he was equally surprised and shocked that made it out."

FOX 2 is hearing there's going to be an event addressing the city's racial divide and what inclusion looks like in the new Detroit and it's because of this incident.'
It is set for next Tuesday, Aug. 1, and Mullen the president of Bedrock is supposed to be there.
 

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