Friday, October 25, 2013

Marketing of Detroit heats up despite bankruptcy

Corey Williams, Associated Press

Detroit — Convincing top executives that Detroit is a comeback city where they should hold company meetings and conventions could only be characterized as the most monumental of pitches or the slickest of con jobs.

But Bill Bohde, senior vice president for sales and marketing at the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau, is plowing ahead with a $1.6 million marketing campaign even as the city is trying to become the largest in the U.S. to enter bankruptcy.

“People were inquiring: How can you talk about a great comeback city when you just filed for bankruptcy?” said Bohde, referring to the campaign’s kickoff during a trade show in Atlanta this summer.

He had to convince savvy business leaders that Detroit’s July 18 bankruptcy “filing has nothing to do with the city and the development going on right now.”

“To the general public, it is confusing,” he said.

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