A sign bearing the phrase “See Detroit like we do” caused controversy in the city by sporting a photograph of mostly white people, according to The Detroit Free Press.
The Free Press reported that the image appeared on the Vinton Building, a property which is owned by the Bedrock real estate company.
Detroit is more than 82 percent black, according to 2010 Census data, leading to debate over the installation’s intentions over the weekend.
Last weekend was reportedly also the 50th anniversary of the 1967 disturbance in Detroit, which was a trying time for the Michigan city.
Some Twitter users on Monday criticized the image, whose first panel was installed in Detroit last Friday.
The ad was obviously targeting a white demographic to spend money in Detroit.— Distant Dark (@distantdark) July 24, 2017
you mean they got all 17 white people who live in Detroit to be in the ad??? 🤔🤔🤔😮— Lew (@LewVen) July 24, 2017
Dan Gilbert, the billionaire founder of Bedrock Detroit and Quicken Loans, apologized for the picture Sunday.
“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 over two years and is nearing completion,” he said in a post on Bedrock’s Facebook page.
“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,” Gilbert added. “We have killed the ‘See Detroit As We Do’ campaign.”
“We immediately killed this dumb campaign as soon as it was communicated more widely in our company. You won’t be seeing that tagline anywhere again.”
Gilbert’s statement said the first image panel was installed at the Vinton Building last Friday, adding that it was removed the following day.
“As soon as we realized on Saturday that the partial installation would completely distort our vision for the finished project, we removed it so it would not cause further misinterpretation and confusion.”