October 25, 2013


Tax Reformers Continue to Consider Advertising Deductibility

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., is continuing in his effort to draft major tax reform legislation.  According to sources from within the committee, limitations on the full tax deductible status of advertising remain on the table as the bill’s drafters try to find a way to lower the top individual and corporate rate to as low as 28 or 25 percent.  To achieve their goal of revenue neutrality, many tax deductions and preferences must be eliminated or reduced.

Drafts of the proposal – or any possible provisions affecting advertising – are unavailable.  Possible changes to the advertising deduction could be a partial disallowance, amortization of a certain percent of the deduction, or different treatments of “brand” vs. “product” advertising.  Some legislators have also suggested limiting the deduction for the advertising of disfavored products, such as tobacco or so-called unhealthy foods. 

Many reports suggested that Chairman Camp hoped to release the bill by the end of October.  While it now appears that deadline will not be met, the Chairman has said he would like to move the bill out of the Committee by the end of the year.  Chairman Camp is operating under a deadline.  Because of internal House term limits, he will only serve as the Committee Chairman until the end of 2014.

AAF’s nationwide network of grassroots members has responded strongly to our alerton the issue.  In addition to countless calls and emails, AAF clubs have organized online petitions and met personally with Ways and Means Committee members. 

While the odds are long that comprehensive tax reform will be enacted into law in the current Congress, it is still important to keep advertising out of the proposal as the legislation would set a precedent for future reform efforts. 

FTC Hearing Postponed

The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade postponed an October 24 hearing entitled "The Federal Trade Commission at 100: Where Do We Go From Here?"  All four current FTC Commissioners – Chairwoman Edith Ramirez, as well as Julie Brill, Maureen K. Ohlhausen, and Joshua D. Wright – were scheduled to testify.  No future hearing date has been announced.

FTC Plans Workshop on Sponsored Content

The Federal Trade Commissionwill conduct a December 4 workshop on sponsored content or “native advertising.”  The workshop will focus on “the practice of blending advertisement with news, entertainment, and other content in digital media.”  A key issue will be whether consumers recognize and understand the messages and can identify advertisements as advertising whenever they appear. 

Advertising Day on the Hill set for March 12

Planning is underway for AAF’s Advocacy and Action: Advertising Day on the Hill scheduled for Wednesday, March 12 2014.  Speakers will include influential lawmakers, key regulators and other exciting guests.  Plan now to join us for this important event.

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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.