January 30, 2017
- Advertising Day on the Hill
- President and Congress Focus on Tax Reform
- FTC and FCC Receive New Leaders
- Senator Targets DTC Advertising
Advertising Day on the Hill
AAF’s Advocacy and Action: Advertising Day on the Hill
is fast approaching. This exciting event will be held on Thursday,
March 30 with a preconference dinner on Wednesday evening, March 29.
AAF’s unique strength in Washington, DC is as a grassroots organization
and the Day on the Hill is a time for those grassroots to be heard.
Attendees will be briefed on the issues by policy experts, hear from
lawmakers and regulators and walk the Halls of Congress delivering the
advertising industry’s message.
The Day on the Hill is FREE to all AAF members,
but registration is required. Sponsorship opportunities are available
as well. Register early and come to Washington, DC in March to make
your voice heard.
President and Congress Focus on Tax Reform
Trump and top lawmakers have identified comprehensive tax reform as a
priority issue as the new Administration and Congress begin their work
together. At this point in time, proposals on both ends of Pennsylvania
Avenue are expressed only in broad generalities.
President Trump has pledged to lower the corporate tax rate
and provide simplification by eliminating many of the preferences and
deductions that litter the code. However, no specifics have been given
as to which preferences and deduction will be limited.
In the House of Representatives, Speaker Paul Ryan has released his “Better Way” agenda that includes a “Blueprint for bold pro-growth tax reform.”
The Blueprint proposes to lower the corporate tax rate from 35 percent
to 20 percent and to shift the code, “from the current outdated
‘worldwide’ regime to a ‘territorial’ system with competitive low tax
rates.” How this would impact advertising is being studied, but
obviously will depend on many of the plan’s details that have not yet
been released and/or determined.
AAF has met with both Republican and Democratic tax staff on the House Ways and Means Committee
and will continue to forcefully advocate on behalf of maintaining the
current tax statues of advertising and a fully deductible normal and
necessary business expense.
FTC and FCC Receive New Leaders
Commissioners Maureen Ohlhausen of the Federal Trade Commission and Ajit Pai of the Federal Communications Commission have been named as the new Chairs of their respective agencies.
The elevation of
Chairman Pai is particularly significant for the advertising industry as
he was a strong opponent of previous Chairman Tom Wheeler’s proposed
new privacy rules for broadband providers. AAF was opposed to the proposed rules
which would expand the definition of “sensitive data,” to include web
browsing and application use data when linked to a device alone.
Sensitive data requires a consumer’s opt-in to use or share. This is
would be a significant departure from accepted industry practice and
customer expectation that the collection and use of web viewing and
application use data for advertising purposes is subject to an opt-out
choice. The rules also would have applied only to Internet Service
Providers, only one small part of the Internet ecosystem.
AAF and many of our industry colleagues have filed a petition for reconsideration with the FCC asking for a withdrawal of the rules. We have also signed a letter sent to Congressional leaders asking Congress to enact a Notice of Disapproval.
Senator Targets DTC Advertising
During a recent Senate consideration of budget reconciliation, Senator Al Franken,
D-Minn., considered introducing an amendment to disallow the tax
deduction for the direct-to-consumer advertising of pharmaceutical
products. Advertising industry representatives quickly contacted
Senators to urge opposition to the amendment. Senator Franken
ultimately chose not to offer the proposal. The Senator has in the past
sponsored legislation to eliminate the deduction for DTC advertising so
we anticipate he may try to raise the issue again.
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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.