McCain attacks government DTV ad spending


John McCain (R-AZ) and Tom Coburn (R-OK) have come up with a checklist of economic stimulus money they believe the government wasted on unnecessary items, and that further did nothing to create jobs or promote sustainable economic growth. One item on the list was a $6M grant for advertising to promote the DTV transition.

Here’s what the duo had to say about this item: “An ad agency was hired for $6 million one month before the switch to digital television – and reported creating three jobs with the money.”

The senators were discussing stimulus spending of just over $200B, and were highlighting what they believed to be $7B worth of wasteful spending.

RBR-TVBR observation: Forgive us for stifling a yawn — $6M is 0.086% of $7B, and it’s 0.003% of $200B. The UK spent far more than $6M despite not being nearly as large as the USA, which largely relied on the benevolence of individual broadcasters, the NAB and other private stake-holding organizations to publicize the DTV transition.

We would add that if the advertising agency created three positions to service a one-timer account, it strikes us as three too many. The money should have gone to creative — handled, you’d think, by existing staff — and air time – that’s it.