"They know what the hell they're doing," he said. "They know they're excluding us...what I see doesn't include the diversity of this city."
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A new video advertising campaign meant to draw out-of-towners to the Pensacola area is under fire by two City Council members for its lack of racial diversity.
The "Visit Pensacola" campaign funded by the Pensacola Bay Area Chamber of Commerce is drawing criticism from council members John Jerralds and Diane Mack.
Four recently produced videos highlight a number of notable destinations and events, including the beaches, the Blue Angels shows, the National Naval Aviation Museum, the Fish House restaurant and Jackson's Steakhouse.
But Jerralds and Mack are questioning why the ads didn't also include black-owned businesses, festivals and destination.
The issue first arose last Wednesday when council members attended a presentation that included viewing the new videos. The issue surfaced again at a council committee meeting Monday.
Mack, who owns an advertising agency and is running for mayor, said Tuesday that cultural diversity is strong in thriving cities.
"It's part of the creative class that we want to attract and have move to Pensacola and open businesses," she said.
Jerralds was more strident in his criticism of the videos and their creators.
"They know what the hell they're doing," he said. "They know they're excluding us. Maybe they have some sort of lame excuses for you, but I don't. I am just going by what I see. And what I see doesn't include the diversity of this city."
Ed Schroeder, vice president of tourism and development for the chamber, said there was never a conscious effort to paint a false racial picture of a region of more than 300,000 that is home to more than 70,000 blacks, according to 2008 statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau.
"If we have areas where we have not achieved the level of diversity we should, we'll correct it as absolutely soon as possible," Schroeder said Tuesday.
"We don't have the budget to hire models and set stages. The videographer has instructions to show a cross-section of our community."
Pensacola Beach Riot video from a Pensacola Juneteenth celebration!
Tags: Pensacola, Blacks, Angry, Chamber of Commerce, Juneteenth, riot
Location: Pensacola, Florida, United States (load item map)
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