Last week, the city’s tourism bureau launched a new branding campaign with the slogan Create Your Own Power Trip. And it is just puntastic: The “Seat of Power” advertisement shows some people peering up at the statue in the Lincoln Memorial. The “Fire Power” advertisement shows some magenta fireworks exploding across a dark sky. And the “Soul Power” image shows a guy with dreads sitting with an adoring woman in a jazz club. But the picture that really caught the DC Republican Committee’s eye was the “Power Play” advertisement, which shows Mayor Adrian Fenty running in a t-shirt that says the name of his parents’ store: Fleet Feet. Here’s the money—Ha! More puns!—quote.
“Mayor Fenty is asking DC taxpayers to sacrifice $100 dollars in new taxes and fees in his FY2009 budget all while promoting his family’s business in taxpayer funded ads,” stated DC Republican Committee Chair Robert J. Kabel.
Look, it’s already been acknowledged that Fenty’s fiscal policies aren’t pleasing some folks. But, nice attempt at stirring up some more controversy. Have you been to Fleet Feet? Sweet place, good selection, quite small. It’s not going to put Foot Locker out of business. The fact that Fenty’s parents are independent business owners in the District comes up frequently. Fenty’s not a billionaire or the son of a former mayor or someone who rose from the depths of poverty. He’s a guy that used to work at his parents’ athletic gear store. It’s a nice story. (And hey, isn’t New York mayor Michael Bloomberg just advertising for Bloomberg news every time he says his name?)
The DC Republicans press release characterizes the t-shirt as a “subliminal message, shop at Fleet Feet Sports.” Here’s a not so subliminal message: If you happen to be in Adams Morgan and need some sports bras or tennis shoes, go to Fleet Feet. Chat with the mayor’s father. He’s the one that looks like the mayor, only more rings. He’s there all the time.