U.S. Census Counts On Burson-Marsteller

BOSTON WPP Group’s Burson-Marsteller has won a $1.2 million project from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Washington, D.C.-based government agency tapped the public relations firm to determine the “feasibility” of determining exactly how many U.S. citizens are living abroad, according to Kenneth Meyer, chief of the Public Information Office at the Census Bureau. The account was won following a review of undisclosed firms.

“We feel that our expertise is in collecting data—it’s not PR—so we [think] we can get more value from taxpayer money by [tapping a PR firm],” said Meyer, who estimated that the project will take one year.

The D.C. office of B-M will advise the client on how to best reach Americans abroad, as well as provide media relations. In the past the government agency has only counted military and government workers in its yearly census. The U.S. Census will take place on April 1, 2004; the bureau will also use that date as a reference point for determining the number of U.S. citizens abroad.

Young & Rubicam handles advertising for the bureau.