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Thursday, February 4, 2010

What Freeze?: Administration Buys 30-sec Spot During the Super Bowl With Taxpayer Money To Advertise Upcoming Census

The Obama Administration is going Is the kind of frivolous spending that Obama wanted Congress to put a freeze on? Perhaps, he should lead by example. Instead, his administration seems content to join right in with the rest of them:

Taxpayers might want to pay close attention to this Sunday’s Super Bowl broadcast or they’ll miss Uncle Sam’s 30-second, $2.5-million reminder to stand up and be counted.

That’s what the Census Bureau paid CBS to get their message notched somewhere between a National Lampoon reprisal, a weird dude with big glasses, a beer-can house and men without pants.

And, that’s just a fraction of what the bureau plans to spend this year to get Americans to answer a simple, 10-question survey.

The bureau is spending $133 million between January and May — or, more than $13 million for each of 10 questions, one of which reads: What is your telephone number? — to publicize the national head-count. Part of that effort is the Super Bowl ad, which Kendall Johnson, a spokeswoman for the bureau, confirmed Wednesday to cost $2.5 million to air.

Come on, this is ridiculous. Not only did they buy air time, they did it on the most expensive program of the year. How can he explain this away? What is the benefit of this ad to Joe Q Taxpayer? None. With the ad, they are trying to get people to fill out a small questionnaire from the Census Bureau. How many jobs did it create? Maybe a couple extra bean counters. Was that all worth $2.5 million for 30 seconds of air time? Hell, no!

What's even sadder is that this is just a drop in the bucket compared to the $133 million they're spending over 5 months to promote the Census.

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