November 30, 2012


AAF Asks Supreme Court to Take Up Commercial Speech Case

The American Advertising Federation has filed a "friend of the court” brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the appeal of a Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Discount Tobacco City & Lottery v. U.S., that largely upheld the constitutionality of the Tobacco Control Act requiring tobacco companies to place prominent graphic warnings on cigarette packaging and in advertising.   

The brief argues that "these restrictions and requirements strike at the heart of advertiser rights to convey truthful information about legal products to adults." Ultimately, the issues are not about tobacco but the ability to truthfully advertise legal products and services to legal consumers. Should the restrictions be upheld, the advertising for any number of disfavored products could be at risk.

The decision in Discount Tobacco contradicted much of the decision of the D.C. Court of Appeals in R.J. Reynolds v. FDA that largely struck down the advertising restrictions in the Tobacco Control Act.  While not exactly the same, the issues are similar enough that the cases are likely to be consolidated if and when they are heard by the Supreme Court. 

The Court will announce whether it will take up the case next year.  Oral arguments and briefs would occur in the fall of 2013.

New Domains Subject to Lottery

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has announced that it will conduct a drawing on December 17, 2012 to prioritize the order in which the evaluations of applications for new top level domains are released.  AAF and much of the business community continue to work with ICANN in an attempt to create greater protections for brand owners and copyright holders.

AAF Day on the Hill

Preparations are ongoing for the American Advertising Federation’s Advocacy and Action: Advertising Day on the Hill on April 17, 2013.  The event will include an exciting program of influential policymakers giving up to the minute briefings on the issues of the day.  We will then unleash the power of AAF grassroots as attendees travel to Capitol Hill to meet with their elected representatives.  More information will be available soon.  Start making your plans now to attend the conference.  Sponsorship opportunities are available for AAF’sAdvocacy and Action: Advertising Day on the Hill.

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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.