Direct Line Blog

McCain calls out Census Super Bowl ad

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Senator John McCain weighed in on the Census' $2.5 million Super Bowl ad, with fellow Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson joining in with criticism of the effort's $133 million total budget.

The AP reports:

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., tweeted this week that the government "shouldn't be wasting $2.5 million taxpayer dollars to compete with ads for Doritos!" Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., called on the Census Bureau to justify every dollar of its $133 million ad campaign, citing the tight economic times.

The Census says that each 1% increase in the direct mail response rate saves it $85 million.

Draftfcb won the account just over two years ago with no fiscal-related complaint from the Senators that I could find in a Google search. The agency's New York office, which worked on the campaign, laid off 47 employees in 2008. Without this Census account (.8% of the initiative's total budget of $15 billion), that number could've been higher — and preserving jobs has been difficult in this economy.

I wish our Senators would look at the big picture here and see what this relatively small outlay saves in terms of jobs and the ROI it provides for the financially strained US government.

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