Government Report: April 13, 2007

Contents:

Sen. Kennedy Introduces Modified Drug Safety Bill, Schedules Hearing
Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., has introduced a substitute drug safety bill with modified provisions important to advertising. The bill, S. 1082, has modified the requirement that all direct-to-consumer advertisements be precleared by the Food and Drug Administration to a "pre-submission" requirement. However, a two-year moratorium on advertising new drugs is still in the bill, as well as a requirement that new pharmaceuticals contain warning labels on their packaging. The bill has been scheduled for a hearing on April 18. The AAF is working with local ad clubs in states with a senator on the Senate HELP Committee to urge the senators to remove the advertising restrictions in the bill. A copy of an alert sent to AAF members is available here.
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FTC Releases Report on Violent Media and Children
A new Federal Trade Commission report on violent content in media says the entertainment industry too often advertises products to children that are inappropriate for them. The report is the sixth FTC report released on the matter since 2000. The study found that 90 percent of R-rated movie advertisements were placed on Web sites where at least one-third of the audience was under 17 years old. The study also addresses the ability of minors to purchase movies, music and games with ratings or parental advisories on them. The original study conducted in 2000 called on the industry to increase the use of ratings and parental advisories. Since then, the number of minors able to purchase media deemed inappropriate for them has declined.
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Utah Enacts Internet Keyword Search Law
An Internet keyword search bill has been signed into law in Utah. The Trademark Protection Act (Senate Bill 236) allows companies to register "electronic registration marks" that would prohibit competitors from using the trademarks in search engines to trigger their own advertising. Both the House and Senate unanimously approved the measure before being signed into law by Governor Jon Huntsman, despite warnings by state lawyers, Internet companies and consumer groups that it would likely be declared unconstitutional.
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Commerce Chairman John Dingell to Speak at Joint Government Affairs Conference
Representative John Dingell, D-Ill., will address advertising professionals on May 2 at the Joint Government Affairs Conference at the Washington Post in Washington, D.C. The event is sponsored by the AAF, as well as the American Association of Advertising Agencies, the Association of National Advertisers and the Washington Post. Confirmed speakers to date include Federal Communications Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate, Pew Research Center President Andrew Kohut and Washington Post columnist David Broder. Registration is free for all AAF members. For more information or to register, visit www.aaf.org/gac.
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