That was the situation that Andy Didorosi of Detroit Bus Co. found himself in over the weekend when friends told him that his business was featured in this hour-long, Comcast-sponsored infomercial called “Detroit: Another Chance.”
The Metro Times reports that Detroit Bus is featured in the video during a segment on all the good work that Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert has done for the city.
“Without my permission, I now appear in a bullsh*t Comcast-powered sh*tfest of fake sunshine Detroit boosterism that claims our existence as a company is due to the generosity and genius of Quicken Loans et cetera,” wrote Didorosi on Facebook, “rather than hard work and investment in our own city. I did not choose to endorse a sh*tty, evil, manipulative company like Comcast that actively works to take our information rights away and I won’t abide by them lifting our image for their gain. I’m mad as hell and pursuing this to the furthest extent the law will take me.”
When the Metro Times spoke to Didorosi, he was no less upset, calling the video “one big wank-fest for Comcast.”
The footage of Detroit Bus was originally shot for a Whole Foods video magazine feature, but has been repurposed for this newer video. It’s possible the producers of this “documentary” got permission from the Whole Foods folks, but no one asked Didorosi whether he’d like to have his name on a video sponsored by Comcast.
“[A]ny big company — even good ones — need to ask permission of the little guys who appear in their adverts,” Didorosi he explains to the Metro Times. “We have to have the ability to choose what we’re appearing in. I think they do this because they think that no one will say anything, they think we’ll be so happy to appear in their advert. But that’s not the case.”
What’s strange is that Comcast would spend any money marketing in the Detroit metro area at all, since — as part of its plan to make the $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable more palatable — it currently plans to spin off its cable/broadband control of the region into a company called GreatLand Connections that will be partly owned by Charter.