AAF Government Report

December 4, 2009

Clark Rector Jr., Executive Vice President – Government Affairs

Advertising Deductibility a Possible Revenue Option for Healthcare Reform

The U.S. Senate has begun debating healthcare reform legislation. An elimination of the deductibility of pharmaceutical advertising was not included in the bill as brought to the floor. However, many amendments to the bill will be offered during consideration. Senator Al Franken, D-Minn. has introduced legislation denying deductibility for pharmaceutical advertising and has hinted that he may offer his bill as an amendment. AAF has been working closely with our grassroots network of local members to contact Senators and urge them to oppose any effort to limit the legitimate deductibility of advertising expenses for pharmaceuticals or any other product.
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CBO Released Report on DTC Advertisingy

The Congressional Budget Office recently released a report on direct-to-consumer advertising of pharmaceuticals. The report notes that advertising often prompts patients to see their doctor, and that it can help with patient compliance with their prescriptions. The report suggests that manufacturers spend $20.5 billion on “marketing costs” in 2008. Of this, $4.7 billion went to DTC advertising. The full report can be found here.
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Online Privacy Bill Still in the Works

House Energy and Commerce Communications Subcommittee Chairman Rick Boucher, D-Va., continues to work on drafting legislation addressing online privacy and behavioral marketing. Chairman Boucher is reportedly working closing with Congressman Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., the ranking Republican on the subcommittee. Despite the fact that no legislation has been released, privacy advocates are criticizing the effort as not adequately protecting consumers. Business groups acknowledge the need for consumers to have options in the collection of their personal data, but are concerned that too restrictive legislation could inhibit the ability to provide consumers with meaningful advertising and a robust Internet experience.
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Massachusetts Data Security Regulations to Take Effect

Massachusetts regulations on data security are set to take effect on March 1, 2010. The regulations require businesses, wherever located, that own or license personal information about Massachusetts residents to implement a written comprehensive security program, encrypt certain data and comply with other security requirements.
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FTC Asks Industry to Restrain Marketing of Violent Entertainment

The Federal Trade Commission has released the 7th report on the marketing of violent entertainment to children. The report states that marketers of violent movies, music and video games can and should do more to restrict the marketing of these products to children. The report states that the music industry has not adopted marketing standards limiting ad placement for explicit-content music. As a result, music labeled with a Parental Advisory Label (PAL) is often advertised on television shows viewed by a substantial number of children.

The report also finds that movie studios intentionally market PG-13 movies to children under 13, and the movie industry does not have explicit standards in place to restrict this practice. In addition, the growing practice of releasing unrated DVDs undermines the rating system, and confuses parents.

Click here to read the report.
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AAF Government Report is available to all members of the AAF. If you are interested in receiving an e-mailed copy, please e-mail government@aaf.org.