Recently, Congressman Hank Johnson of Georgia and 31 members of the Congressional Black Caucus wrote President Joe Biden urging the President to do more to direct federal advertising dollars to Black Owned media. In his letter, Congressman Johnson stated that Black Owned media is grossly underrepresented when federal advertising dollars are spent. Congressman Johnson asked for data on the amount of advertising dollars spent with Black Owned media by all federal agencies.
Only one agency has responded. HHS responded with a description of the expenditures that HHS spent with Black Owned media in educating the public about the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to get vaccinated. The HHS information stated that Black Owned media received approximately $20 million. However, HHS incorrectly included some companies that were not Black owned in their calculation. Therefore, out of a COVID-19 advertising budget of $360 million, Black Owned media received substantially less than the 5% that HHS asserted. But Black people were 13% of the COVID-19 deaths, so even the stated 5% was much too low.
NABOB President Jim Winston said, “The good news here is that this is the first time HHS has provided information on the amount of advertising dollars expended with Black Owned media. The bad news is that we are not getting a fair share of the advertising dollars expended by HHS to reach and serve our communities.” Winston added, “Unfortunately, no other federal agency responded to Congressman Johnson’s letter. We will continue to work with Congressman Johnson to get information from the other federal agencies and to educate those agencies on why they should do more advertising with Black Owned media.”
Scroll below to read Congressman Hank Johnson’s letter to President Biden.