It’s Official: Census to DraftFCB

NEW YORK The U.S. Census Bureau today confirmed hiring Interpublic Group’s DraftFCB for its $200 million 2010 campaign following a review. first reported DraftFCB’s selection for the business yesterday.

“It’s absolutely vital that everyone participate in the census, and as our nation becomes more diverse, the challenge of reaching everyone becomes greater,” said Census director Louis Kincannon, in a statement. “This requires a large, complex, behavior-change campaign, especially one that reaches historically hard-to-count populations.”

The one-year contract, effective immediately, has up to three option years. DraftFCB will lead creative development and media planning; IPG stablemate Initiative picks up buying chores.

“We attribute this win to a great team that developed a great idea, supported by our new model, which brings creativity and accountability together to drive consumers to act,” said Peter DeNunzio, president of DraftFCB in New York, which will lead the assignment.

At least six of the seven agencies that responded to the client’s proposal request progressed to the oral presentation round, according to sources.

Advancing, along with DraftFCB, were: WPP Group’s Ogilvy & Mather in New York, JWT in Atlanta and Young & Rubicam in New York; Omnicom’s GSD&M Idea City in Austin, Texas; and IPG’s Campbell-Ewald in Warren, Mich., per sources.

The status of SYColeman, an Arlington, Va.-based firm representing a consortium of 25 shops that would serve as sub-contractors on the business, could not be determined.

Assisting DraftFCB and Initiative will be shops that specialize in reaching minority audiences: GlobalHue (black and Hispanic audiences), IW Group (Asian, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders), G&G (American Indian and native Alaskans) and Allied Media (other emerging audiences). Several other specialty shops, including A to Si, Booz Allen Hamilton, Jack Morton Worldwide, the Marcom Group, Weber Shandwick and Zona Design, will also work on the business, as will other DraftFCB offices.

Y&R created the campaign for the 2000 Census. The government spent $100 million in measured media on that effort, per TNS Media Intelligence.

Since DraftFCB’s removal from the $570 million Wal-Mart account in December amid allegations that the retailer’s strict code of ethics was broken by former client marketing executive Julie Roehm, the agency has been on something of a rebound. In April, Kmart awarded creative chores on its estimated $200 million U.S. ad account to the shop, the same week DraftFCB scored the $40 million Kraft Lunchables business.

On the downside, DraftFCB’s New York office in July cut at least 50 staffers as Verizon shifted direct marketing chores to IPG’s MRM.

This story updates and replaces an item posted yesterday with client confirmation and additional details.