Since 1790, the Department of Commerce has conducted a decennial Census to document the demographic characteristics of the American population, and to establish the proportional distribution of political representation . For the 1990 Census, advertising agencies under the aegis of the Advertising Council volunteered their creative efforts to promote the United States Census through public service announcemnts in newspapers, magazines, and the business press, and on radio and television.
The full campaign was designed to run from February 1 through April 7, 1990. The "blitz run" period ran from March 4 through April 7, 1990. The collection consists of proof sheets, storyboards, video tapes, audio reels and an introductory letter from Secretary of Commerce Robert Mosbacher. The volunteer agencies were The Mingo Group, Castor GS & B, Muse Cordero Chin, and Ogilvy & Mather. Slogans for the campaign included "Answer the Census. It Counts for More Than You Think", "Stand Right Up. Answer the Census", "Any Way We Add It - It Makes Good Sense to Answer the Census", and "Esta Es La Nuestra! Participe En El Censo". To reach the broadest audience possible, ads were created in English, Spanish (including dislects in Puerto Rican, Mexican, Cuban and Nortera), Cambodian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Laotian and Vietnamese.