Census Approaches Consensus, Narrows Review For Awareness Campaign

The Census Bureau has cut the number of agencies vying for its expected $350 million account aimed at driving awareness for the 2010 count to four or five, with three from WPP. A decision will come in August. The four remaining for sure include Y&R and O&M in New York, JWT in Atlanta and Omnicom's GSD&M in Austin. The $350 million would be the total account size if a single agency, as would be expected, holds the account through 2011.

The account covers all disciplines involved in trying to persuade every U.S. household, which together account for the estimated 302 million Americans, to fill out and send their forms back. The Census has said the form could take less than 10 minutes to fill out and would be one of the most intuitive and easiest since 1790.

While GSD&M might be expected to handle the creative and media itself, the WPP shops might look to partner with a sister media expert such as Mediaedge:cia or MindShare.

In 2000, Y&R ran the efforts with Mediaedge:cia as the media shop--which purchased a spot in the Super Bowl that year.

The Census has begun laying the groundwork for its canvassing in three years, stating it will look to gain data on gender, age, race, ethnicity, relationship and whether a person is a renter or home owner. The bureau is in the midst of some trial runs in the San Joaquin County, Calif., and Fayetteville, N.C. areas.



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