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Congressman Hank Johnson wins push for Dept. of Defense report on minority ad spending

(June 1, 2015) For the past two years, U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson of Georgia has been attempting to get more military recruitment advertising placed on minority-owned stations. Johnson, who has been working with the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters, is the highest ranking Congressional Black Caucus member on the House of Representatives' Armed Services Committee. He and NABOB have has just won a small victory in their efforts to have stronger language placed in the Defense Authorization Bill report.

Starting next year, the Secretary of Defense will be required to give the Armed Services Committee a written report on the DOD's efforts to use minority-owned media in the placement of advertising. The report will be delivered to the committee by March 1, 2016.

Here is the actual language as it was adopted:

"The committee continues to support efforts by the services to ensure diversity among the force. The committee remains concerned that the efforts by the services to ensure that our Nation's military is reflective of American society are being reduced by the use of advertising that does not adequately target minority communities. The committee understands the challenges that the services are facing, but urges the services to maintain, and where possible, increase their advertising within minority communities, to support their commitment to ensuring a strong diverse force."

"To adequately reach minority communities, the services are encouraged to use minority owned media outlets and advertising agencies that have demonstrated an ability to connect with minority communities. Recruitment advertising within minority communities is an important avenue toward building interest and understanding in serving our Nation in uniform. The committee urges the services and the Department of Defense to maintain a commitment to diversity recruiting and retention.

"Therefore, the committee directs the Secretary of Defense to provide a report, by March 1, 2016, to the congressional defense committees on the efforts undertaken by the services to adequately reach minority communities and use minority owned media outlets and advertising agencies that have demonstrated an ability to connect with minority communities."

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