Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Monday, April 28, 2008

Blogmeister's "WE DID" Advertising Campaign

Jim, Jim, Jim...I got so teary eyed when I read your Publisher's message in the Star on Saturday.

I wanted to get your message out to my friends across the country. I wanted to send it out to them by e-mail as soon as possible. The only trouble was I couldn't find it on the Star online or on the Windsor Star Digital Edition. Frankly, I had no intention of wasting a good part of my weekend typing it all out.

Not much of a commitment there, Jim. Hard to get the message out when the message is invisible even on your own websites.

Those were tears of laughter by the way. I could not believe you were really serious.

In reading through everything that you wrote, I got goosebumps. Well actually to be honest, when I pulled out the wrapper and saw that it was tied into Eddie's full-page, coloured, taxpayer-paid Greenlink ad, I knew I had been goosed.

You see Jim you forfeited your right to tell me and others in Windsor what to do as publisher of the leading media outlet due to your newspaper acting as a cheerleader and enforcer for the failed Mayor of this City. You have not lived up to your responsibility to us, your readers.

It is all because of the Bridge Company, Jim. I know it now and so do most others. Your main Columnist gave it away, in obvious desperation, a few weeks ago by telling us what this is really all about. Just like the time when your newspaper supported DRTP. When it was clear that they had no chance, your paper dropped its support of that project. Your newspaper is now prepared no matter what to support a Mayor who promises to help beat that Bridge Company too and calls it the "enemy."

The Star changed horses in mid-stream but will still lose its bet. More importantly, you are losing your credibility with your readers. Just look at your own Forums to have that demonstrated clearly. Here's what we learned from Gord:
  • "Gray understood what was at stake. An economic nationalist, he recognized that having the nation's most critical border crossing owned and operated by a private company, a foreign controlled one at that, would not be in Canada's best interests. He knew that real countries, serious countries, don't let private companies run their borders."

You have let the Mayor get away with just about everything, with the odd time to give him a slap on the wrist to pretend that you are doing your job as a newspaper, just to accomplish your newspaper's agenda.

But really, Jim, do you believe that under the leadership of this Mayor the City has gone anywhere? Was it really worth it to let this City die just so that you could achieve your agenda for a public Bridge. I would not think so since you now see the need for a "Believe Windsor Essex" project.

No, Jim, you and the others thought that you could intimidate and threaten the Bridge Company Owner into selling out cheaply and that all you needed was a bright young man to help achieve this task.

It is out and out plain Xenophobia. There is no other word to describe it. He was never going to run away. The Star of all institutions should have known that. He fought the Canadian Government and got a settlement of the lawsuits which some believe that the Government is trying to reopen using Bill C-3 rather than FIRA. It is pretty clear after the SPP meeting that the Bridge Company has won since the DRIC project was virtually ignored. Did you report that in your paper?

Isn't that the reason Jim that you have never done a major story on the Ambassador Gateway project with plenty of photographs too? The Americans can close down I-75 for 18 months and this City can't afford to have a temporary road closing at the Ambassador Bridge for repairs. Once people see what is actually being done on the other side of the river they will fully understand that no Government is so dumb as to duplicate all of that only a half a mile down the road.

You should have been promoting cooperation between the City and the Bridge Company and forcing the Mayor to do so as well, especially early on in his Mayoral career. Imagine what would have been accomplished over the last few years. Instead of stalling, wasting millions on lawyers and consultants, and threatening lawsuits, we would have had progress. The Senior Levels could never have beaten a combination of the City and the Bridge Company. I know that and so do you and that is to your newspaper's shame.

You stopped doing your job as a responsible critic and for that, you do not deserve the thanks of Windsorites nor credit for your self-promotion now.

You need a feel-good campaign Jim because the City is in the doldrums; this city is sinking fast. Your Advertising department knows it best of all. Can you imagine their bottom line but for Eddie's massive ad campaigns and those of the Development Commission. I'm sorry that you feel guilty and believe that it is necessary to repent. But it is too late to do that.

Instead of trying to do things to improve the situation, all that our City and Economic Development Commission can do is waste money on advertising blitzes. Mind you, that's pretty good for your newspaper too at a time when the economy is pretty bad and people are finding it difficult to pay for advertising. Your paper provides "the only daily venue for local, regional, and national advertising" as it so proudly points out on the Canwest newspaper website.

It's funny Jim, I spoke to one of your competitors recently in the advertising game and he said that this is the first time when the economy has turned sour that his income hasn't increased. As the economy gets worse, normally business people spend more to get customers into their business establishments. Not this time around. He said that all you need to do is to look at all the closed down buildings to understand why there is little advertising money around. But it's okay for you Jim, you got your full-page, taxpayer paid ads!

I'm troubled by your campaign Jim. I'm troubled because there is a disconnect with the reality of this region. We don't need more cheerleading and more feel-good campaigns. We need positive action to accomplish results. Do you remember Jim only a few years ago when this region had a per capita income that was the second or third highest in Canada. We did not need ad blitzes to tell us how to make us feel. We felt good about ourselves because we had money in our pockets to spend.

Don't tell us about all the good things in Windsor, Jim. We already know about them. Our problems are the lack of money since the monument to ego, the East end arena, has sucked it out of our budget, the highest unemployment rate in Canada, a high property tax rate, 86% water levy increases, low house pricing, mortgage foreclosures, no economic diversification campaign other than taking a train to Toronto, a Mayor and Council playing entrepreneur with my money without the skills required to achieve success and on and on and on until it gets too depressing to continue.

As is typical with the Star, one needs to read to the end of the story or of a message to understand the issues. You said it in exactly the same manner that I have been saying it for so long on this BLOG. Except when I say it Jim, I'm accused of being a whiner and a naysayer. But you will win awards and the thanks of the City Establishment as you promote yourself as the City's and the Region's big booster.

  • "We need to get our message out that Windsor is open from business. We need to let Canada, our American neighbors and the world know that we are hungry for new business and new investment."
Open for business!!! Windsor???

Sure, Jim, thanks to our Mayor trying to chase our smartest and youngest out of town in his Jobs Today joke and making it difficult for any investor to put his money into this City, we have become the laughing stock across Canada. Tell me, and be honest about it, which other City is fighting to prevent investment of over $2 billion in Government and private enterprise infrastructure projects that would create 10 to 15,000 highpaying jobs that are desperately needed. You don't threaten lawsuits; you work with the parties to achieve a solution.

You know what Jim... if you want to help, join my campaign. It is time that your newspaper started acting like the leading media outlet and started doing its job as a responsible newspaper. It is time that you do your job as Publisher as well to clean out some of the baggage that your paper has been carrying for years. Baggage that has hurt this City.

I'm going to call my campaign the "WE DID" campaign. Here's how it goes:

  • WE DID work with the County, not fight them
  • WE DID work with Detroit to make our region stronger not just throw money to barge into their events to pretend it means co-operation or hold out hopes of a Tunnel deal
  • WE DID work with our University to make its new Engineering Complex, regardless of where it is located, the intellectual R&D centre of the automotive industry in North America
  • WE DID work with the Bridge Company to build its Enhancement Project now
  • WE DID work with the Senior Levels to build a road to the Ambassador Bridge that makes sense now
  • WE DID work with investors who brought us new and exciting innovative ideas in the emerging technologies while helping our existing companies new ways to prosper
  • WE DID set up an Economic Development Commission that did more than just look for new brochures but actually found jobs and brought new industry to the region
  • WE DID work with Governments and private enterprise to create 10 to 15,000 new jobs to tide us over until the time that we have diversified our economy
  • WE DID fix our potholes and our sewers and our watermains and stopped wasting taxpayer money
  • WE DID reduce taxes rather than find new ways to spend tax money on entrepreneurial dreams
  • WE DID encourage people to revitalize our downtown and not just allow sprawl in the suburbs
  • WE DID create trust with our citizens by ending secret, in camera meetings and create an open and transparent City government
  • WE DID allow a garage to be built in Sandwich

Do you get my drift, Jim? You see my campaign is a "past tense" campaign. It is a campaign of achievements and accomplishment of what we can easily do and can do now to make our lives better in Windsor. I want us to build on our solid foundation and stop constructing castles in the air. I want something achieved that is practical and doable and am tired of artistic renderings and theatrical performances by imported superstars who tell us to what we are "entitled."

You see Jim I like results not THINK BIG DREAMS. I guess I am kind of funny that way. If you think you might want to help out, then you know where to reach me.