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American Opinion: On relentless promotion of the U.S. census:

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opinion Willmar, 56201

Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

An excerpt from recent editorials in newspapers in the United States:

From The Associated Press

On relentless promotion of the U.S. census:

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Does anyone recall the Census being this annoying in 2000? Every time you turn on a TV or radio, there's another ad, pounding it into your heads how important an accurate head count is to divvying up federal funding and congressional representation. Households even got a letter saying they would soon be receiving the Census form in the mail.

The 2010 Census' astounding $300 million promotional campaign was aimed at reaching the average person 42 times. It seems like it's been a heckuva lot more than that. The messages have become like an annoying little brother who won't stop poking you. Enough already!

Starting with a $2.5 million spot during the Super Bowl, a series of TV commercials produced by Christopher Guest featured some show-biz types preparing to film "A Snapshot of America." Even little kids can't escape the blitz. Dora the Explorer is featured in advertising spots and schools are getting promotional items to distribute, including shoulder bags and coloring books.

Prior to 2000, the government primarily relied on public service announcements. Following a three-decade decline in Census returns, a $100 million advertising campaign in 2000 resulted in a 65 percent increase in mail returns, saving the Census Bureau about $305 million.

Will the $300 million spent on promotion this year result in a comparable increase in returns? We'll see -- after we return our forms, then cover our ears and close our eyes until the advertising blitz is over.

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