Cavaliers Owner Dan Gilbert Ends Company Ad Campaign Because Poster Failed to Show Black People

Dan Gilbert
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert made an egregious faux pas when his company placed a poster on a downtown Detroit building which featured all white people.

The poster emblazoned with the slogan “See Detroit like we do” was part of an ad campaign for Gilbert’s real estate company, Bedrock Detroit. The Motor City is over 80% black, according to the 2010 U.S. Census statistics.  Detractors of the poster were dismayed that blacks were not represented in the graphic.

Gibert took to Facebook and apologized for botching the tone and imagery of the ad campaign:

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.

Nevertheless, as Sporting News reported, the businessman took a beating on Twitter for his indiscretion:


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