The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) has briefed 14 agencies to pitch for a campaign to encourage people to take part in the 2001 Census.
The NIO is to spend upwards of &£500,000 on a campaign to ensure as many people as possible fill out the Census forms.
Agencies from Northern Ireland, the Irish Republic and UK mainland are on the roster being used by the NOI, but a spokesman refused to divulge their names.
The spokesman says: “We have invited all 14 agencies to come up with ideas on paper, and then we will draw up a shortlist.”
The initial ideas for the campaign have yet to be formulated.
“The object of the campaign is to encourage people to fill in the Census form. The findings will be flawed if not enough people take part,” the spokesman adds.
It is understood the account will encompass both creative and media work.
The UK Census collects housing and population information every ten years. It is the basis of the official population count and provides essential information to enable central and local government to plan how to best use resources.