J. Walter Thompson INSULTS Detroit

Well, we just noticed that these reprehensible want ads from advertising megagiant J. Walter Thompson are still up.


This is the worst kind of mocking and snide insult toward our city, that JWT itself does business in, I have ever seen. It is everything Detroit is trying to escape and it prolongs the bashing our city takes around the country in the media and in people’s minds. With all the progress we are making and attempting to make, these do Detroit a terrible disservice.

These sites depict Detroit as a burned out, crime-ridden shell, complete with sound effects including drug pipes, gun shots, sex, and mocking comments like, “…and the casinos are right around the corner!”. It sends a terrible message about our city’s community, safety, and progress. All this from a very large corporation doing business in the center of downtown Detroit.

The problems these sites depict are serious issues that citizens and city officials are faced with daily, and they are offered up here as snide jokes to attract “local talent”. As an art director and business owner in the Detroit area, I find this form of “want ad” insulting in the extreme. Several of my colleagues and I have made our opinions known to J. Walter. We were told the campaign was to be ended. It is clear now that they have persisted.

With “the world coming” for the Superbowl, it’s a shame that such a prominent member of Detroit’s business community has chosen to show its community and fellow citizens such flagrant disrespect.

You could go ahead and take the position that it draws needed attention to what’s wrong with Detroit. I sincerely disagree. This is not the forum for that kind of attention. This is a mocking, sick joke – especially for a company as large and well-known as JWT.

I agree this city has ills, but they need to be dealt with properly, not used as the butt of ridiculous advertising and marketing.]

Please feel free to use the contact link on the above website to communicate with JWT about these ads. You can also reach JWT Detroit Public Relations at (800) 877-8598, or direct at 313.964.3743 if you prefer to speak with someone directly.

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