The St. Louis suburb of Ferguson wants to reclaim its brand identity from the countless images and news stories that went around the world after the 2014 police shooting death of Michael Brown, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Assistant City Manager Matthew Unrein said the videos and photographs of fires and nighttime riots often used to portray Ferguson aren’t appropriate representations of the suburb in its entirety. “That’s not what this community is,” he said Tuesday. “That’s what it was in a moment of time. We have 125 years of history that don’t reflect the imagery of those fateful few nights.” Ferguson has hired a marketing firm for $46,480 to come up with a new logo. It will replace the “Community of Choice” banner that runs above the illustration of a train depot.
The slogan “Community of Choice,” some residents concede, stings given findings by the U.S. Justice Department that the municipality chose to use tickets, court fines and fees to support its budget and the police department unfairly targeted African Americans. Unrein said the city needs a new brand that “can better reflect our diversity,” but it will be up to the Avant Marketing Group to come up with a menu of options for the City Council to choose from. He said the initial goal was to unveil a new brand during a July 4 party celebrating the city’s 125th birthday. It’s now being pushed back, possibly to early August, which may coincide with the fifth anniversary of Brown’s death on Aug. 9.