Cash for Clunkers Jr.: A sequel of sorts


Another piece of stimulus is being aimed at retailers (and manufacturers), and that should be good news for broadcasters. Coming later this fall: A $300M government program to encourage the sale of energy-efficient appliances in exchange for juice-guzzling clunkers.

Obviously the total amount of the package is nowhere near the bottom line of the auto clunkers program, and the rebates being offered will be far below the $4.5K ceiling offered for auto purchasers.

However, consumers will be able to pick up from $50 to $200 for new energy-efficient refrigerators, dishwashers, stoves, washing machines, dryers and other household appliances. And that should get many of them into stores and help out yet another beleagured US industry – and give it a reason to advertise. Appliance makers took a 10% hit in 2008 and are said to be down 15% YTD this year.

There is some question as to how effective this program will be – 25 states already offer similar rebates and many retailers are said to have already offered discounts.

Each state will be able to set up the program its own way and has until 10/15/09 to provide the feds with details. The $300M is expected to be spent by the end of November.

RBR/TVBR observation: This program will at least bring a new category of advertiser out of hiding, and consumers may be more receptive than some observers think. In fact, we moved not too long ago, and kitchen appliance conveyed that we not so affectionately call a dishwetter, because as far as we can tell, that’s all it does (while of course consuming massive quantities of electricity). When we mentioned this program to our better half, the possibilities were clear and the interest was immediate.