My Two Census

Formerly the non-partisan watchdog of the 2010 US Census, and currently an opinion blog that covers all things political, media, foreign policy, globalization, and culture…but sometimes returning to its census/demographics roots.

Response from the Census Bureau re: “BS Awards”

Jack Martin of the Public Information Office sent me the following e-mail in my response to my “BS Awards” post:

There are several inacuracies in Mr. Morse’s post that we feel the need to rectify.

First, our communications plan contractor, draftFCB, had nothing to do with the creation of this video, or entry in the Telly Awards program.  This video was produced internally by our Photo and Broadcast Services Division, a group of talented professionals who have also won many awards, including excellence awards from the Public Relations Society of America, the National Association of Government Communicators, a NY ADDY, an ARF David Ogilvy Award, and two CINE Golden Eagles.

Second, The Telly Awards have for the last 30 years recognized the creative efforts of thousands of people, and are very popular with thousands of organizations  Their website cites “over 14,000 entries from all 50 states and 5 continents” for this year.  Winning entries included commercials made for Wal-Mart and Chrysler, and other video projects for Discovery Channel, Disney, Verizon, ESPN, and AARP. The Telly Awards are popular with many who are “on the ground” creating the excellent work you see on commercial and public TV.  The entries are judged by peers, and usually not by major agency advertising executives.  A category may have several winners, or none.  The excellence of the production is awarded.

We are proud of our communications program and the recognition our contractors are receiving for their work on the 2010 Census

Jack Martin | U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office |

Our response: As has been previously noted, conversations with advertising professionals about the Telly Awards reveal their lack of prestige. The logic behind entering awards competitions that are not prestigious is very simple: Advertising companies, individuals, and in this case the Census Bureau want to call their products “award-winning” as this helps with future/current business, or in this case government oversight. This is easy to achieve when entering competitions that have many, many, many winners. And finally, no mention was made of Draftfcb in this post, other than identifying that the company was also involved in advertising efforts.

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