January 23, 2009


Jeff Perlman, Executive Vice President – Government Affairs
Clark Rector Jr., Senior Vice President – State Government Affairs
Robert Kohlmeyer, Manager – Government Affairs




Senate Commerce Committee Approves of Digital TV Transition Delay

Late Thursday night, Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., announced a bipartisan agreement to delay the analog-to-digital television transition from February 17 to no later than June 12. According to Sen. Rockefeller, a Senate vote on the legislation is possible as early as next week. The proposal faced opposition from Ranking Minority Member Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, but the compromise addresses her concerns, including allowing TV stations to switch to an exclusively digital signal prior to June 12 without penalty and empowering the government to issue more subsidy coupons for converter boxes. House Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., postponed consideration of the House bill he introduced, pending results of the Senate negotiations. The digital TV delay has been urged by consumer groups and President Obama. Many Republicans, including House Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Joe Barton, R-Texas, who introduced the bill requiring the transition in 2005, oppose the delay.
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FTC Plans Children's Advertising Literacy Workshop

The Federal Trade Commission announced it will hold a workshop on March 12 to gather input on its children's advertising literacy initiative. While speakers have not been named, the FTC expects to hear from advertising and marketing experts to discuss what children experience in the commercial world, what they should know to navigate in it and what they understand about their experiences. The FTC's advertising literacy initiative seeks to raise awareness among tweens about advertising and marketing practices, improve their ability to read, analyze and appreciate advertisements, and show them the benefits of being informed consumers. The AAF plans to attend the workshop.
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Illinois Bans "Alcopop" Beverage Advertising to Children

A new Illinois law prohibits the advertising of so-called alcopop beverages, or flavored alcohol products, to audiences that are primarily children. In addition to banning outdoor advertising for alcopops within 500 feet of schools, parks and churches, the law, introduced as Senate Bill 2472, states that "no entity may advertise, promote or market any alcopop beverage…in any videogame, theater production or other live performances where the intended audience is primarily children." The restriction applies only to video games that receive a "T" or lower rating. The law went into effect on January 1.
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