August 1, 2017
- Tax Reform
- Food Marketing
On July 27, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, released a joint statement on tax reform.
The statement was short on specifics, but pledged “a
lower tax rate for small businesses so they can compete with larger
ones, and lower rates for all American businesses so they can compete
with foreign ones.”
to prior reports, Senate talks on tax reform have been centered on a
framework similar to the plan introduced in 2014 by former Ways and
Means Committee Chair Dave Camp, R-Mich. That plan called for lowering
the corporate tax rate to 25 percent while eliminating many tax
preferences and deductions, including limiting the federal deduction for
advertising expenses to 50% in the current year with the remaining 50%
amortized over ten years. A similar plan was introduced at the same time
in the Senate by then Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus, D-Mont.,
although the amortization schedule in the Senate plan was for five
years. There has been no indication that the advertising deduction is
currently under consideration.
had been speculation that Congressional leaders would take the same
approach with tax reform as was used with health care, i.e. writing the
bill behind closed doors and presenting the finished package to
lawmakers for a yes or no vote. However, the statement said their
expectation was that the bills would be considered under regular order,
first in the tax writing committees and then by the full House and
Senate Finance Committee has unanimously approved David Kautter,
President Trump’s nominee for assistant secretary of the Treasury for
tax policy. The nomination has been forwarded to the full Senate. If
confirmed to the position, which oversees tax matters for the Treasury
Department, Kautter is likely to play an important role in the
administration’s efforts to overhaul the tax code.
is the partner in charge of the Washington national tax practice of
RSM, a tax and consulting services firm. He also worked at Ernst &
Young for more than 30 years and was a Capitol Hill staffer for former
Sen. John Danforth, R-Missouri.
AAF members have attended many grassroots meetings between advertising
industry constituents and members of the Congressional tax writing
committees held in their home districts to stress the importance of
maintaining advertising’s status as a normal and necessary business
expense full deductible in the current year.
House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden,
R-Oregon has announced a September 7 Committee hearing on Ground Rules
for the Internet Ecosystem. Invitations to testify have been sent to the
CEOs of leading tech companies, including Facebook, Alphabet, Amazon,
and Netflix and broadband providers including Comcast, Verizon,
AT&T, and Charter Communications.
One probable topic of concern will be Congresswoman Marcia Blackburn’s, R-Tenn., privacy bill, the Balancing the Rights of Web Surfers Equally and Responsibly (BROWSER) Act. The bill would designate the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as the nation’s sole online privacy enforcer, including over internet service providers and edge providers.
bill would also expand the category of “sensitive information” far
beyond what the FTC has ever recognized, including browsing history and
require opt-in consent for all use, disclosure and access to such data.
This would likely chill innovation and frustrate Internet users, as it
could result in consumers facing a bombardment of disruptive opt-in
The AAF believes that the FTC’s privacy enforcement, coupled with strong industry self-regulation through the Digital Advertising Alliance,
has worked well to protect consumers. The FTC requires consumers to
opt-in before companies can collect sensitive data (such as financial or
medical data) but allows for an opt-out regime for non-sensitive data.
The DAA’s self-regulatory approach aligns with the FTC’s approach to
non-sensitive data and provides a flexible, innovative, and
independently enforceable framework that keeps pace with the
State actions on
privacy have slowed somewhat since most state legislatures have
adjourned for the year. AAF and our industry partners have sent letters
expressing concern about privacy bills in California and Massachusetts.
The House draft
legislation making appropriations for financial services and general
government includes language to permanently defund the Interagency
Working Group and its proposed nutrition principles for foods marketed
to children. The Federal Trade Commission,
the lead agency in the IWG, abandoned the effort to enforce the
principles many years ago. Previous appropriations have denied funding
on a year by year basis. If it passes, the new language would make the
The United Kingdom
recently adopted stricter advertising guidelines for high in fat, salt,
and sugar (HFSS) products marketed to children.
are already in place on TV, and will now apply to children’s
non-broadcast media including print, posters, cinema, online,
advergames, and in social media. Ads for HFFS products will no longer be
allowed to appear around TV-like content online, such as video-sharing
platforms such as YouTube, if it is directed at children.
In summary, the rules state:
Ads that directly or indirectly promote an HFSS product cannot appear in children’s media.
Ads for HFSS products cannot appear in other media where children make up over 25% of the audience.
If the content
targets children under 12, ads for HFSS products will not be allowed to
use promotions, licensed characters, and celebrities popular with
children; advertisers may now use those techniques to better promote
The Department of Health nutrient profiling model will be used to classify which products are HFSS.
<< 2017 Reports | View all Government Reports >>
The AAF protects and promotes advertising at all levels of government through grassroots activities. Our nation-wide network monitors advertising-related legislation on local, state and federal levels. We put our members face-to-face with influential lawmakers while encouraging self-regulation as a preemptor to government intervention, when appropriate of course. To learn more about our advocacy efforts, click here.