Government shells out millions to get Americans to fill out census forms
The only thing you'll want more than a Big Mac or a Whopper come next spring is to get your hands on a U.S. Census form. At least thats what the advertisements will have you believing. They what you to be counted in the next millennium.
The U.S. government has shifted it's focus away from Y2K and computer
glitches and is spending $102 million to blitz the airwaves, magazines,
newspapers and billboards with its Census message. Next to McDonalds's and
Burger King, the Census will be the biggest advertiser on television from
Feb. 1 to March 15.
"When you're selling laundry detergent, you know women make decisions about
laundry detergent more than men," Terry Dukes, executive Vice President at
Young & Rubicam said. "So you'll target by age or income. "In this case,
we know we have to get every single adult, 18 years and older, no matter
what their background, their education level."
In Alaska, the word is being spread differently. Its not television advertisements but pavement pounding being used by the government. Only 52 percent of Alaskans mailed back their census forms in 1990 making Alaska the state with the lowest participation rate.
Census Director Kenneth Prewitt went to Alaska himself to spread the news. Prewitt met with civic leaders, business people and others encouraging them to get out the word. Prewitt took thousands of census forms with him on the trip.
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