Media Alert: ANA, 4A's and AAF Support Delay of Digital Transition for TV

January 27, 2009-New York, NY- The ANA (Association of National Advertisers), 4A's (American Association of Advertising Agencies) and the AAF (American Advertising Federation) today announced their joint support for the proposed delay to transition to digital television.  The organizations cite the amount of households that are not ready for the transition, as well as the chance for the government to address some unresolved issues that arose throughout the transition process.

At the current time, many households are still categorized as either "completely" or "partially unready" for the transition. 

  • As of January 2009, Nielsen Media Research estimated that 5.7% of television households were "completely unready," meaning they did not have any sets equipped to receive digital signals; this is about 6.5 million households.
  • Meanwhile, another 9.2% of homes were "partially unready," meaning they contained at least one set that was not ready to receive digital signals and one or more sets that are ready; this is about 10.5 million households.

These 17 million "unready" households would lose television reception either completely or partially should the transition occur.  This sudden loss of the ability to receive television transmission would cut off millions of Americans from important media access including the commercial messages of our members.  This delay should allow for a smooth digital transition in June in which few or no households lose television transmission. 

Also, a delay would give the government the opportunity to address the issues it has had with the TV converter box coupon program.  These problems have included unclear expiration dates, and reimbursement funds that have been depleted.  Removing these impediments would in turn allow more of the "unready" households to upgrade their systems and be deemed ready for the pending transition.

ANA President and CEO Bob Liodice is available for comment on this issue from the advertisers' point of view.  Please contact Lesley Neadel at or 917.595.3034 to speak with him. 

4A's President and CEO Nancy Hill is available for comment on this issue, from the agency standpoint.  Please contact Kipp Cheng at or 212. 850.0720 to speak with her.

AAF President and CEO Jim Datri is available for comment on this issue. Please contact Hilary Woodward at or (202) 898-0089 to speak with him.


The Association of National Advertisers leads the marketing community by providing its members insights, collaboration and advocacy. ANA's membership includes 360 companies with 9,000 brands that collectively spend more than $100 billion in marketing communications and advertising. The ANA strives to communicate marketing best practices, lead industry initiatives, influence industry practices, manage industry affairs and advance, promote and protect all advertisers and marketers. For more information, visit


The American Association of Advertising Agencies is the national trade association of the advertising agency business. The 1,196 member agency offices it serves in the U.S. employ 65,000 people, offer a wide range of marketing communications services, and place 80 percent of all national advertising. The management-oriented association helps its members build their businesses, and acts as the industry's spokesman with government, media, and the public sector. For more information, visit


The American Advertising Federation (AAF), headquartered in Washington, D.C., acts as the "Unifying Voice for Advertising." The AAF is the oldest national advertising trade association, representing 40,000 professionals in the advertising industry. The AAF has a national network of 200 ad clubs located in ad communities across the country. Through its 225 college chapters, the AAF provides nearly 7,500 advertising students with real-world case studies and recruitment connections to corporate America. The AAF also has 130 blue-chip corporate members that are advertisers, agencies and media companies, comprising the nation's leading brands and corporations. For more information, visit the AAF's Web site at


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