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The US Census Bureau hires big guns in new ad campaign April 6, 2010

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In a new video ad, the U.S. Census Bureau is using former Bush adviser Karl Rove to spread the message that there’s still enough time to fill out the 2010 Census. The move comes after many conservatives have criticized the Census as an invasion of privacy, and have even in some cases encouraged citizens to abstain from participating in the process.

Rove is just one of many people used in a new ad campaign to convince non-participating groups to fill out the Census. Dorothy Height, a 98-year-old civil rights icon also appear in a new ad to encourage African Americans to participate in the head count. Several other celebrities have also been used, including Donny Osmond, NASCAR drivers, and Major Leage Baseball players, among others.

To see Rove’s ad yourself, watch the following video:

Discussion Questions:

1.  What are the barriers related to audience attitude that the Census Bureau must overcome in order to persuade reluctant Americans to fill out the 2010 Census?

2.  Is this new ad campaign effective? Why, or why not?

3.  Would it be sensible for the U.S. Census Bureau to highlight the legal consequences of not filling out a Census (for example, reminding Americans that they face fines of $5,000 for non-compliance)?

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