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Fair-Housing Group Sues Cincinnati Newspaper Over Advertising

November 1, 1989

CINCINNATI (AP) _ A fair-housing group has sued The Cincinnati Enquirer, charging that the newspaper’s real estate advertising violates the Fair Housing Act by featuring only whites in illustrations.

Karla Irvine, executive director of Housing Opportunities Made Equal, or HOME, said Tuesday that among 1,000 ads appearing in The Enquirer between Nov. 8, 1987, and Oct. 15, 1989, only nine featured non-white models.

″If you only advertise with white models, you’re saying your market is only for whites,″ Ms. Irvine said.

The lawsuit filed in federal court asks for an end to the alleged practices and seeks unspecified damages.

George Blake, editor of The Cincinnati Enquirer, said the suit was misdirected.

″It is unfortunate that Housing Opportunities Made Equal Inc. has chosen to sue The Enquirer and to engage in costly and time-consuming legal proceedings rather than working directly and constructively with the advertisers HOME complains about in its lawsuit,″ Blake said.

″We do not agree with the basis of the lawsuit and will proceed to exercise our rights in the federal court system. We have and will continue to abide by the laws that cover the operation of the newspaper.″

Robert B. Newman, a lawyer who filed the lawsuit for HOME, said asking the newspaper to make changes was more economical than pursuing each advertiser in court.

Ms. Irvine said only two builders advertising in the newspaper use non- white models in their real estate ads.

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