Census Super Bowl ad defended


It isn’t just John McCain (R-AZ) who objected to the Census Bureau’s $2.5M ad during the Super Bowl – several of his colleagues think the ad, and the Census Bureau campaign in general, is excessive. But the Census Board has some simple math to justify the expenditure.

A spokesperson for the Bureau explained the ad in very simple terms – the goal was to spark awareness of the census effort, and to prepare citizens to fill out and return their questionnaire, which is said to be a simple ten-question, ten-minute exercise.

The Bureau will be sending workers door-to-door to track down citizens who failed to return a form – a much more expensive prospect for the government than simply opening an envelope.

CB says that it bought the ad with the idea that 100M would see it. And if it moves just 1% of that number to use the mail rather than force a home visit, it will save the government $30M. Now that is return on investment.