Quicken Loans founder and billionaire businessman Dan Gilbert has apologized for an ad encouraging the public to “see Detroit like we do.” The only problem? Detroit is more than 80 percent black, and the ad features zero African-Americans. Gilbert said his company “screwed up badly” and that the campaign has been suspended.
This weekend, Jason Blevins at The Denver Post examined the situation at Denver advertising agency Factory Design Labs, and it isn’t pretty:
The 20-year-old ad agency with super-posh offices in Cherry Creek once boasted The North Face, Aspen Skiing Co., Sports Authority, Oakley and Callaway Golf as clients. The big names are gone, and now the agency has left several magazines with unpaid bills and raised the ire of media outlets and at least one company that paid Factory to place ads.
Jonas Temple, CEO of FDL, acknowledged some challenges in a response to the article on Facebook:
In January 2015, I returned to Factory and partnered with Bob Reimer to lead a critical restructuring of the agency. Given the very difficult financial situation at that time, Bob and I identified two unimaginable choices for our strategy: file bankruptcy or fight to keep the doors open. With considerable pause we decided, as a company, to choose the more difficult road — continuing our commitments to our clients and our staff, and to the extent possible, make good on our historical debts.
During this process we have had to trim our staff, restructure the management team, radically reduce expenses, and generally create a new company that’s very different from our past.”
Brilliant Media Strategies, a new Denver-based advertising, branding and marketing agency, has officially launched. Brilliant is the result of the combination of Bradley Reid + Associates and Stage 2 Studios.
Brilliant’s principals include Rick Wright, vice president of Client Services; John Tracy and Debbie Reinwand, founding partners; John Conn, president of Broadcast Services; Tina Lindgren, executive vice president; and David Board, director of Interactive Services.
Kmart, home of Martha Stewart and Blue Light Specials, shoots for edgy. And this is why it is important.