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Rep. Hank Johnson adds language to House DoD report for more radio ad dollars

(July 8, 2013) In response to a request from the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters (NABOB), Congressman Hank Johnson of Georgia added language to the House Report on the Defense Authorization Bill encouraging the Department of Defense to make greater use of radio in its commercial advertising expenditures.

NABOB announced in May that it is asking why more of the hundreds of millions spent by the U.S. government in advertising isn't going to African-American owned broadcasting outlets. The association is targeting federal agencies that approve the allocation of $750 million in ad budgets to change this disparity.

Congressman Johnson added the language to the Defense Authorization Bill Report after NABOB shared the Congressional Research Service (CRS) report showing that the federal government spent $750.4 million on commercial advertising services in fiscal year 2011.

"Of these expenditures, Black owned broadcast stations and networks receive a very small share," said Jim Winston, NABOB executive director. "Many Black owned broadcast stations receive no federal ad dollars. NABOB thanks Congressman Johnson for his initiative on this issue, and we will continue to work with Congressman Johnson on the Department of Defense advertising expenditures."

The language added by Congressman Johnson at pages 181-182 of the House Report reads:

"Use of Radio in Department of Defense Advertising The Department of Defense spent $450.1 million in advertising in fiscal year 2012. The focus of the Department's commercial advertising expenditures were recruiting and reaching influencers. A review of the advertising expenditures shows that the Department spends less than 2 percent of its advertising budget on radio, compared to the 10.1 percent the average national commercial advertiser usually spends.

"Radio reaches 92 percent of all Americans each week. Thus, the broad reach of radio makes it an effective media vehicle to utilize to reach both recruits and influencers. Radio reaches diverse racial and ethnic communities in our Nation, because there are many stations and networks that target these diverse communities. The committee encourages the Department to examine its commercial advertising expenditures to determine whether greater utilization of radio to reach a larger target audience among diverse communities would be cost-effective."

NABOB said it will focus on the federal advertising issue at its 37th Annual Fall Broadcast Management Conference and the 13th Annual Power of Urban Radio Forum set for October 2-4, 2013, at the Westin City Center Hotel in Washington, DC.

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