The World Federation of Advertisers called on the advertising industry to stop using the racially-loaded terms "blacklist" and "whitelist" when referring to the content and sites that they wanted excluded or included in their advertising campaigns. The WFA suggests that the industry adopt terms such as "exclusion list" and "inclusion list" instead.
WFA CEO Stephan Loerke said, "While we assume that there wasn’t any negative intent in the creation of these terms, we have to acknowledge they are wrong to use in the biases they perpetuate and the pain –- conscious and unconscious –- they cause."
Specifically, the WFA called on the industry to:
- Change the narrative, by stopping the use of these terms;
- Activate your network, by asking others not to use the terms as well; and
- Embed it in your operations, by updating documents and contracts to change these terms, "especially contracts between marketers, agencies, platforms and technology partners."
The WFA also called on the industry to consider other problematic language that may be used as well. Loerke said, "The same considerations should be applied across the board in how we use other language which has accidental gender, age or racial implications, or even language that carries violent connotations."
"We all know that words matter – at their best they can inspire better actions, and at their worst they can cause harm and incite violence" -- Stephan Loerke, CEO, World Federation of Advertisers