January 2022 Coach's Quiz
Which of the following phrases is it NOT appropriate for a landlord to include in an online ad for a property in Stanley Town, a neighborhood known for being almost entirely white?
a. “Exclusive neighborhood”
b. “Stanley Town location”
c. “Desirable neighborhood”
An apartment manager uses his mobile phone to record residents enjoying themselves during a community pool party. Although the party is attended by a diverse mix of residents, including those in wheelchairs, the manager focuses exclusively on the young white residents. Now he wants to upload the video to the community’s Instagram page. Is this a good idea?
a. Yes, because these are real residents and not models
b. No, because the video expresses a preference for whites without disabilities
c. Yes, because content on a social networking website like Instagram doesn’t count as advertising
COACH’S ANSWERS & EXPLANATIONS
Correct answer: a
Reason: Rule #1 applies here:
Rule #1: Avoid Discriminatory Buzzwords
The way an ad describes a property’s location can be an expression of which people the landlord thinks should live there. By the same token, it’s also a legitimate and essential piece of information to include in an ad. This is true even when the location is associated with a particular group—in this case, the white neighborhood of Stanley Town. The key is for the ad to describe the location in a neutral and factual phrase. The phrase “white neighborhood” is clearly not neutral. And, in this context, “exclusive neighborhood” is just a more subtle version of the same message, namely, that this is a community where only white people should live. So, a. is the right answer.
Wrong answers explained:
b. is wrong because “Stanley Town location” is a fact. In other words, it’s not discriminatory to accurately list the name of the location even if the neighborhood is associated with a particular group.
c. is wrong because “desirable” is a neutral word that doesn’t express a preference either for or against any groups on the basis of race, sex, religion, or other protected characteristics.
Correct answer: b
Reason: Rule #3 applies here:
Rule #3: Beware of Discriminatory Use of Human Models
It’s okay to use human models in ads as long as they don’t send veiled messages about the race, ethnicity, and other protected characteristics of the people who should and shouldn’t rent from you. Because the manager’s video shows only residents who are white and able-bodied, it suggests that you don’t welcome non-white and/or disabled residents. So, the community shouldn’t use it in its ads and marketing materials, unless it’s accompanied by either additional images showing the other attendees, including those of other races and those with visible disabilities, or a disclaimer stating that the community doesn’t discriminate based on race, color, or any other characteristic protected under federal, state, or local law. Thus, b. is the right answer.
Wrong answers explained:
a. is wrong because the rules for discriminatory use of models apply regardless of whether the individuals shown are models or real residents, or for that matter, real people as opposed to drawings or other graphic representations.
c. is wrong because the rules on discriminatory advertising apply to just about any content used to promote a community, including on social media and community websites.
See The Lesson For This Quiz
|Avoiding Inadvertent Discrimination When Advertising Your Community|