A three-step framework to address racist casting in advertising

A survey of 500 executives in the marketing industry revealed several critical insights about how anti-Black prejudice is widespread in the casting process for ads.

Why it matters

Tackling racism in the marketing industry needs a re-examination of every aspect of current practice – and that includes how they make casting decisions in ads. Making improvements in this regard will require a thoroughgoing review of every aspect of the casting process.


  • Casting in advertising is a critical element of exposing all viewers to accurate, representative portrayals of various different communities.
  • The use of “coded language” – neutral terms that are used to try and disguise prejudice – is common in casting, and must be challenged.
  • Marketers work in the business of persuasion, and should...
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