The Minority Media and Telecommunications Council is lamenting the fact that Congress hasn’t been able to find more than 5M to publicize the DTV digital-to-analog converter program. And even more to the point, it has done nothing about the fact that the 20 US zip codes where the need for the converters is greatest are largely unserved by the retailers who will be making the boxes available.
MMTC’s David Honig said the group compared eight NTIA-certified retailers to the 20 neediest zip codes, and found that out of more than 500 stores nationwide, only six are located in the identified hot spots. It found two each of Radio Shack and Sears, and one each of Target and K-Mart. Missing in action are Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, Aaron Rents, Best Buy and Circuit City.
"While NTIA can’t require national retailers to stop practicing commercial redlining when they choose sites for new stores, NTIA should encourage certified retailers in close proximity to African American and Latino populations to advertise heavily in Black and Spanish media," suggests MMTC.
MMTC further suggests publicizing at sporting events, using entertainers and political candidates (particularly the two presidential nominees once their known); getting young entrepreneurs to distribute coupon applications door-to-door; adopt commercial advertiser creative techniques; get the message out to churches, barber shops, places of employment and recreational/entertainment facilities; taking the message into public schools; conduct effective research; and make sure all involved parties are ready for crunch time as the deadline approaches.