Detroit Billionaire on Ad: 'We Screwed Up Badly'

Dan Gilbert and his Bedrock company admit 'tone-deaf' ad was a misstep
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 24, 2017 1:50 PM CDT

(Newser) – A billionaire businessman has apologized for his real estate company's controversial sign in downtown Detroit that says "See Detroit Like We Do" with an image of a majority white crowd. Quicken Loans founder and Cleveland Cavaliers majority owner Dan Gilbert posted on Facebook Sunday, saying the ad was "tone deaf" and his Bedrock company "screwed up badly." Per the post, "We became the City's largest employer of Detroiters because diversity and inclusion are core fundamental values to our entire mission of helping to grow Detroit's population, driving job growth, and increasing economic opportunity for all."

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The ad posted on the Vinton Building—a residential high-rise Bedrock has spent more than two years rebuilding—during the weekend of the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Detroit riots resulted in social media uproar. The campaign's photograph contradicted 2010 US Census data indicating the city is more than 82% black, reports the AP. Gilbert says the display posted Friday was only part of the final ad, but that it still distorted the company's message. He says the image was removed Saturday and the "dumb campaign slogan" has been "killed." (Read more Detroit stories.)

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