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.

Official Census Bureau Response To Charges That Ad Agency Traded Ads For 2010 Census Coverage

In response to last Friday’s allegations of improprieties and scandal involving ad agency GlobalHue’s dealings with newspapers, Census Bureau PR man Stephen Buckner provided the following response:

The National Newspapers Publishers Association (NNPA) was actually hired by
DFCB and the Census Bureau last year to handle Black/African American
newspaper media buys.  The request for their members to provide the Census
Bureau with added value originated with NNPA, which was paid $195,000 as
one of the two contracted media buyers for the Black audience.  In fact,
all of the more than 3,800 media outlets selected in the 2010 Census
advertising buy were asked to provide added value, which is a standard
industry practice.  Each media buyer made it clear that this was voluntary
and that each media outlet would get credit for any previous coverage they
may have run prior to the buy.

Black newspapers are receiving about 11 percent of the total ad dollars for
this audience despite media consumption research showing that they only
spend 6 percent of the their time reading newspapers.  About 80 percent of
the media budget is being targeted among popular Black television and radio
programming.

Mindful of taxpayers dollars, the Census Bureau leveraged it’s $133 million
advertising campaign to secure nearly $30 million in free advertising –
all of which is an attempt to increase public awareness and motivate every
household to mail back their 2010 Census forms.  In fact, if everyone
mailed back their form, taxpayers could reduce the cost of the census by
$1.5 billion.

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2 Responses to “Official Census Bureau Response To Charges That Ad Agency Traded Ads For 2010 Census Coverage”

  1. Angela Spencer Ford Says:

    GlobalHue’s Statement Regarding NNPA Allegations
    GlobalHue has long respected the Black Newspapers and their value to the Black community. We are however concerned about the recent allegations from some members of the National Newspaper Publisher Association (NNPA) – also referred to as the Black Press – which was subcontracted by GlobalHue to negotiate and execute all Black newspaper buys for the 2010 Census.

    In 2009, following a competitive selection process, the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) was selected to manage the Black newspaper buy. The NNPA is headed by Mr. Danny Bakewell, publisher of the Los Angeles Sentinel. The NNPA was selected as a subcontractor because of their extensive knowledge about the Black newspaper business. The NNPA is receiving payment for their services, and Mr. Bakewell is one of two NNPA subcontractors actually conducting the work on behalf of the Census Bureau.

    In close consultation with GlobalHue, NNPA conducted negotiations with media properties for ad placements. NNPA also made recommendations to GlobalHue on what the terms of the agreement with the media vendors should be. One of the items in the negotiations was the added value the media vendors would offer. All of the more than 3,800 media vendors participating in the 2010 Census media buy were asked to provide added value. This is a standard industry practice and an important factor in informing the public about the Census.

    With regard to added value from the Black newspapers, in a proposal dated 12/31/2009, NNPA recommended that GlobalHue request participating Black newspapers promise the following:

    “In lieu of free advertising added value, I recommend we ask all participating newspapers to promise to run, during the paid advertising campaign, at least 6 news articles and 2 editorials stressing the important of completing the 2010 Census. African American/Black readers believe in the Black Press. African American/Black readers have been guided by and represented by the Black Press for more than 100 years. The combination of paid advertising and the Black Press endorsement will have great success in increasing the completion ratio.”

    GlobalHue accepted the NNPA’s added-value recommendations and issued insertion orders to all newspapers accordingly. The added value guidelines as recommended by the NNPA led to concerns by a few representatives of the Black newspaper community.

    In response, GlobalHue amended the value added guidelines and new insertion orders were submitted to all of the newspapers that received the original insertion order. While the new insertion order asked that every paper make an effort to include articles/editorial pieces about the 2010 Census, it also made it clear there was no quid pro quo for advertising buy.

    Of the $23 million Black Audience paid media plan, Black newspapers are receiving 11 percent of the ad dollars for this audience. At this time, 173 African American, African, Caribbean and Haitian newspapers in 64 markets across the country are being engaged in the buy.
    # # #

  2. Stephen Robert Morse Says:

    FYI, the above statement is an official response from the ad agency involved. – SRM