My Two Census

Formerly the non-partisan watchdog of the 2010 US Census, and currently an opinion blog that covers all things political, media, foreign policy, globalization, and culture…but sometimes returning to its census/demographics roots.

UPDATE: MyTwoCensus Investigation: Scammers Running The 2010 Census Ad Campaign

UPDATE: MyTwoCensus has been informed that Jay Waite, deputy director of the US Census Bureau, was also involved in procuring these contracts. According to his biography, “Waite is the visionary and architect of the 2010 reengineered census. Using hand-held computers for data collection, a major expansion of technology, will dramatically change the way censuses will be conducted for decades to come.”

Well, what scandal have we stumbled upon this time?

Upon doing some further research into DraftFCB’s massive $200 million advertising/media contract with the Census Bureau, I learned that this firm’s parent company, Interpublic Group was forced to pay a $12 million fine to the SEC for accounting fraud in 2008 and also owns a 49% stake in GlobalHue, an ethnic media PR firm that has been assigned to do the Latino/African-American outreach for the 2010 Census. But back in March of this year, GlobalHue was accused of overbilling the Bermudan government by $1.8 million on a $13 million contract. The Bermudans claim that GlobalHue:

    • Overbilled the account by $1.8 million.
    • Prebilled the government in violation of its own rules.
    • Didn’t keep invoices and billing records.
    • Didn’t return discounts and credits to the client.
    • Used a media buyer, Cornerstone, that charged commissions of  up to 181 percent.

    Have similar problems been going on in America with little oversight? Maybe the GAO and IG’s offices will soon let us know! (For now, click here to download the original accusations from Bermuda. H/t to Jim Edwards of BNET for providing these docs.)

    An confidential source informed MyTwoCensus that New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney’s office had quite the hand in procuring this contract for DraftFCB/Interpublic Group/GlobalHue (ironically she accused the Bush administration of trying to sabotage the 2010 Census), so tomorrow we’re going to give them a call to learn more information. Additionally, Steven J. Jost, the Census Bureau’s new Communications Director (he also served in this role when Ken Prewitt ran the Census Bureau during the later Clinton years), has significant ties to Maloney’s office.

    MyTwoCensus has a pending FOIA request to obtain the details of these contracts.

    *As this is an ongoing investigation, MyTwoCensus asks for any individual with further information about this case to please come forward. We remind our readers that we maintain  full confidentiality with our sources in all circumstances.

    Tags: , , , , ethnic media, , , , Interpublic Group, media, , , , scandals

6 Responses to “UPDATE: MyTwoCensus Investigation: Scammers Running The 2010 Census Ad Campaign”

  1. » My Two Census » Blog Archive » MyTwoCensus Investigation: Scammers … - 2010 Census Says:

    [...] See original here: My Two Census » Blog Archive » MyTwoCensus Investigation: Scammers … [...]

  2. My Two Census » Blog Archive » Jost: Cisneros Will Be My Chief Publicity Flack Says:

    [...] internal Census Bureau document…Look who will be responsible for the oversight of the $200 million contract with DraftFCB, a fellow PR flack rather than an ACCOUNTANT or someone with OVERSIGHT [...]

  3. Kathleen Ruane Says:

    Draftfcb would like to set the record straight on being awarded the U.S. Census contract. We were awarded the business after a hard fought and highly-competitive review, which began with hundreds of agencies and was winnowed down by the government to a field of six well-known advertising agencies as finalists. During that lengthy process, we provided detailed information on how we would manage the contract, our technical approach for meeting the goals of the 2010 Census as well as our capabilities and relevant experience. We also provided references from past and current clients. We are extremely proud to have won this highly-coveted contract and have been working very hard to develop a campaign to ensure the success of the 2010 Census. We work very closely with the Government on a daily basis. Our contract and work have been and continue to be highly scrutinized by the Census Bureau, Government Oversight Committees, the House and the Department of Commerce.

  4. My Two Census » Blog Archive » MyTwoCensus Investigation Leads to Congressional Letter Requesting Contract Information Says:

    [...] has spent a significant amount of time in the past week investigating the relationship between Draftfcb, GlobalHue, and the U.S. Census Bureau. We obtained the following document from a Census Bureau insider that shows how this site’s [...]

  5. My Two Census » Blog Archive » Freedom Of Information Act Request Granted? Nah, Not Really Says:

    [...] that produced FOIA requests related to the $200 million 2010 Census media contract with Draftfcb, GlobalHue, and other firms involved with the 2010 Census advertising and marketing efforts. We were initially thrilled last [...]

  6. My Two Census » Blog Archive » President Obama: We can’t move forward until you mail it back Says:

    [...] was just released, so hopefully this won’t get politicized. The major downside here is that the geniuses at ad agency Draftfcb haven’t figured out that people should be able to embed video…so unfortunately you will [...]