Strange incident of the day: Local news crew captures homeowner’s confrontation with 2010 Census workerSunday, May 30th, 2010
This is from KOB.com, an NBC affiliate in New Mexico:
This is from KOB.com, an NBC affiliate in New Mexico:
The government’s census workers are out and about in South Florida neighborhoods and beyond, going door to door and being invited into homes, but a little-known law is being criticized by local child advocates.
Under the law, census workers can’t say anything about or report sex abuse, child abuse, or any type of abuse of kids they may get a whiff of while visiting a home.
In fact, Federal law not only prohibits them from speaking out, but anyone who does could get a $5,000 fine and five years in jail if they do.
In Florida, teachers, doctors, nurses, the clergy, and law enforcement officers must report child abuse when they see it.
Lissette Labrousse, attorney with Legal Services of Greater Miami, said there’s a reason for the law.
“The Federal law is designed to have people come forward and speak to census workers without fear,” said Labrousse. “Under the law it is required that the census worker keep everything confidential, they cannot release any information to any government agency.”
The census told NBCMiami that it’s very unlikely one of its workers would run across abuse, but if they did the law stops them from reporting it.
But child advocates claim the law hurts their efforts to get the public to come forward anytime children are being abused.
Here’s the video of the 2010 Census sketch from last night’s Saturday Night Live starring Betty White and Tina Fey. The Census Bureau should drop NBC a thank you note for the free advertising. The classic Christopher Walken SNL sketch can be seen here.
Note: If you look closely, you will see that Tina Fey managed to obtain what appears to be a genuine 2010 Census enumerator bag for this performance. I wonder how she got it if it’s only for employees?
The Nielsen Ratings are crap. Seriously. These ratings are the results of an antiquated system that relies on statistics from 5,000 Americans to represent more than 300,000,000 Americans. However, YouTube has provided many, many, statistics for the common man (not just the stat-heads over at Census Bureau’s HQ in Suitland, Maryland). So, let us delve into the US Census Bureau’s YouTube channel to see just how few people have watched the ads that have been created for the 2010 Census:
Thus far, the Census Bureau has posted 63 YouTube videos for the 2010 Census. The first video (the boringly iconic “Portrait of America” clip) was posted 10 months ago and the most recent addition (a hip-hop music video geared toward young urbanites) was posted two days ago. The Portrait of America video has just over 6,500 hits…which would sound pretty pathetic for a 10 month campaign if only it wasn’t revealed that the other six videos posted 10 months ago each received between 347 and 1,305 hits. In the series of videos posted 6 months ago, the most widely-watched video, about the address-canvassing operations, has been viewed a measly 1,083 times. (This means that only a tiny fraction of the workers involved in this process even watched the video…)
Sadly, Census Director Robert M. Groves has not become the YouTube phenom he wished to be, as his four-part panel discussion and swearing in ceremony clips received only 264, 124, 92, 120, and 285 views respectively (over the course of 6 months!!!). If Dr. Groves were trying to make it on network TV, he would have been canned lightyears before Conan…
And most pathetic are the efforts of the Census Bureau to reach out to minority communities…Video testimonials by members of minority communities that were posted 5 months ago have received between 33 and 258 views…and the majority of these videos have been viewed less than 100 times each! Even if the Census Bureau’s own employees who are representing the minority groups (partnership specialists) had viewed their own videos, there should be more views than what is represented on YouTube!
Final Analysis from an untrained marketing expert: As of February 8, 2010, this ad campaign is a colossal failure!
MyTwoCensus.com has received a fair share of e-mails from Americans who are all asking the same question: Why did the Census Bureau choose to purchase a multimillion dollar Super Bowl advertisement? Census Bureau spokesman Stephen Buckner has responded to this and other related questions below:
Questions from Stephen Robert Morse, Founder/Editor of MyTwoCensus.com: Whose idea was it to air an ad for the Census Bureau during the Super Bowl? Who chose Christopher Guest as the director of the ad? Who chose which specific ad or ads will run? Which ad or ads will run? Were there ever focus groups to see how effective the ads were? If so, where and when did these focus groups take place? What were the results of these studies?
Answers from Stephen Buckner, Assistant Division Chief, Decennial Programs, Public Information Office:
The essential challenge for the Census is that because it happens only once
every ten years, many U.S. residents are unaware of when it happens (in
March) and how they participate (by mail). Our own research in late 2009
showed less than 10% of Americans surveyed correctly answered that the 2010
Census occurred in March.
The first goal of our promotion efforts is to
raise awareness of the when and how the Census works. We have a very
limited window of opportunity to achieve our goals Jan – April, and
therefore need programming that delivers high ratings. The 2000 Census
paid advertising campaign also had a Super Bowl ad for just this reason.
The Super Bowl is the top-rated and most highly anticipated television
event in the U.S. An ad running once in the Super Bowl has the potential
to reach 45% adults over age 18. For comparison, CSI which is one of the
top rated programs on television delivers a 6.6 rating with adults, which
is a fraction of the reach of the Super Bowl. A 30 second spot on the
top-rated regularly scheduled show in America, American Idol costs $450,000
and has a 9.5 rating, or just 9.5% of adults are watching. The Super Bowl
reaches 100 million viewers at a very efficient price compared to other
The Super Bowl is rare, in that viewers are just as tuned in to see the
commercials as the program itself. Commercials that air on the Super Bowl
have a multiplier effect. Advertisers are mentioned in multiple news media
outlets and viewers will typically look to view them online almost
immediately after airing. Therefore, airing once in the Super Bowl creates
significant buzz leading to additional viewing potential.
Our media buy with CBS consists of (1) 30 second ad in the 3rd Quarter.
CBS provided added value in the form of (2) more 30 second ads in the
pre-game show and an additional (2-3) 12-second vignettes featuring James
Brown delivering a message on behalf of the Census. We believe the message
delivered by James Brown who is the host of the day, will carry great
weight with viewers.
We did not choose the Super Bowl itself for an ad, or at the expense of
some other programming. We went where the audience was to be found, and
CBS put the Super Bowl into their proposal for all Census ad dollars, along
with the NCAA finals and other high profile programming. NBC similarly
offered us special programming for advertising during the Olympics.
We did conduct focus groups and other research for all of our paid
advertising concepts in 2009, including the concept of a “Snap Shot of 300
million Americans” which became the ads being directed by Christopher
Guest. They tested very positively. We conducted a total of 115 focus
groups in 37 markets cities across the United States for all our
advertising, television, radio, print, digital and out door.
The first ad in the series is currently airing and will also air during the
Super Bowl pre-game. A new will air during the game, but if we told you
what it was all about, it would spoil all the suspense. While we reply on
the professional expertise and advice of our expert advertising
contractors, the Census Bureau is responsible for these ads and their
Finally, Super Bowl advertisers see a significant lift in internet searches
which is a great opportunity for Census to drive traffic to 2010census.gov
to further educate viewers on the Census.