Citizenship Question Under Increased Fire | Regulatory Rumblings | Blogs | ANA

Citizenship Question Under Increased Fire

January 18, 2019

ANA has been an outspoken critic of the inclusion of a citizenship question in the 2020 census due to the negative impact it would have on advertising. This was buttressed by a survey ANA sent to its members inquiring as to how they believed a citizenship question would affect the advertising community. The overwhelming conclusion was that such a question would lead to a notable distortion in marketing research. Marketers, who often rely on and utilize census data, would be misled by the inaccurate census count and would misguidedly allocate resources and investments away from millions of members in underreported communities, leading to skewed budgets, skewed strategies, and an overall lack of interaction with multicultural consumers.

Over the Summer and Fall ANA filed a letter with Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross urging him to reconsider the addition of a citizenship question in the 2020 census. ANA also signed onto a joint letter with other members of the advertising community again strongly urging the Commerce Department not to include such a question.

In the most recent developments in this situation, on January 15th a federal judge ruled that the inclusion of a citizenship question broke “a veritable smorgasbord” of federal laws. This is far from a settled issue as the Administration appealed the ruling on January 17th, asking the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals to review the original decision which blocked the Commerce Department from including the question in the upcoming census.

ANA will continue to monitor this situation closely and continue to express our views on behalf of our members on this important question.

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