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.

Posts Tagged ‘Telly Awards’

Response from the Census Bureau re: “BS Awards”

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

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.

Congrats, The Census Bureau Wins This Year’s BS Awards!

Monday, July 20th, 2009

Today, the Census Bureau released the following press release about how it won an armload of the least prestigious awards ever received, which are called Tellys. Calls to multiple New York-based ad/marketing executives were met with words like “never heard of them” and “I don’t even think they’re real.” Jim Edwards, a former managing editor of AdWeek, said, “The Tellys are not a high-profile award by any means. They recognize one of the more humble niches of the advertising world, and that means that most people in the business have never heard of them.” Here’s the latest episode that relates to the Draftfcb PR farce from Suitland:

WASHINGTON, July 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A series of 2010 Census promotional videos have won several prestigious Telly Awards as well as a Videographer Award of Excellence — awards that honor the best in video production.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090226/CENSUSLOGO)

The videos were produced by the Public Information Office at the U.S. Census Bureau as part of a collaborative effort between headquarters, regional and contracting staff. They were submitted for consideration by contractors Therese Allen and Corey Petree.

The four- to seven-minute videos, titled “A New Portrait of America,” were produced to reach different segments of the population including the general, African-American, Asian, Hispanic, Native American/Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islanders, and Puerto Rican audiences.

In the nonbroadcast productions category, the videos received silver Tellys for use of music and editing, and a bronze Telly was awarded for government relations. In the Internet/online video category, a silver Telly was awarded for music and a bronze Telly was awarded for editing.

The videos also received the 2009 Videographer Award of Excellence in the government/federal and creativity/video/original music categories.

The “New Portrait of America” videos include diverse images from throughout the country as well as interviews with community leaders. They are used at activities and events to promote the 2010 Census and encourage everyone’s participation in next year’s national count.

The “New Portrait of America” videos may be viewed at the following link: http://2010.census.gov/2010census/multimedia/videos/013879.html.

The real humor in this is that after looking into the “Telly Awards,” it  looks like there are hundreds upon hundreds thousands upon thousands of winners in each category. It seems like the creators of the Telly Awards just want an outlet for ad agencies to impress their clients by paying entry fees to become recipients of this everyone’s-a-winner competition.