April 27, 2012


ICANN Announces Glitch in the System

ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, has announced what it refers to as a “glitch” in the software that is processing the applications for new top level domains.  As a result of the glitch, it appears that an unknown number of applicants were able to view the information of other applicants, possibly including proprietary information.  Even prior to this glitch, AAF, many of our local advertising clubs and other industry groups and corporations expressed concern about what we believed to be a flawed process from creating new top level domains.

The issue has drawn the attention of Congress also.  Congressman John Dingell, D-Mich., haswritten to Secretary of Commerce John Bryson asking about the Department’s oversight of ICANN.  He specifically asks the Secretary to address many of the issues that have long concerned the advertising industry, such as the security and transparency of the process.  He also asks about defensive registrations and what has been done to protect the value of brands and trademarks.

FCC Requires Documents be Posted Online

The Federal Communications Commission has voted to require broadcasters to put public inspection files, including information on political advertisements, online.  Three members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Reps. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., Brian Bilbray, R-Calif. and Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., had written to the Commission asking for the justification for the order, expressing concern that it is expensive and burdensome and that no need had been articulated for the requirement given that the files are already publicly available. 

Bill Would Restrict For-Profit College Advertising

Senators Kay Hagen, D-S.C. and Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, have proposed legislation that would prohibit for-profit colleges and universities from using any federal revenues for advertising or marketing.  This prohibition includes revenues from federal student aid programs such as the G.I. Bill and Pell Grants.  AAF is troubled any time the federal government attempts to dictate to marketers how or how much they can advertise and market their products and services.  We also strenuously object to the assumption behind this legislation that advertising is wasteful and not a legitimate and necessary business expense.

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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.