May 23, 2014


Senator Introduces Bill Targeted Food Ad Deductibility

Senator Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., has introduced legislation, the Stop Subsidizing Childhood Obesity Act, which would deny the federal tax deduction for advertising to children under age 14 of foods of “poor nutritional quality.” 
Under the provision of the bill:
Any advertisement or marketing of “poor nutritional quality” foods to children would no longer be deductible as an ordinary and necessary business expense. This tax denial would also extend to brands that are primarily associated with “poor nutritional quality” foods.
Brands are defined as “a corporate or product name, a business image, or a mark, regardless of whether it may legally qualify as a trademark.”
Marketing would include traditional media advertising; the use of characters on package labeling; advertising in movie previews, apps, or video games; on-site advertising displays at retail sites or events; character licensing and toy cross-promotions; celebrity and athlete endorsements; and advertising within schools.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) must conduct a study and report within 60 days of enactment establishing procedures for identifying foods and brands of poor nutritional quality.
As of this writing, no action has been scheduled on the measure.


AAF Calls for National Data Breach Notification Law

AAF has joined with many allied associations in sending a letter to Congressional leadership in support of a uniform national standard for data breach notification. When data is compromised, AAF believes that businesses and consumers both benefit from timely and proper notifications. 
The letter urges Congress to adopt a standard that requires consumers be notified when there is a significant risk of identity theft or other economic harm. The associations are concerned that an overly inclusive standard would result in frequent unnecessary notifications and could lead to consumer complacency should a serious breach occur. AAF believes that consumers and businesses alike would be better served by one clear national standard than the current patchwork of 47 different laws across all U.S. states and territories.

DAA Testifies Before Senate

On May 15, Lou Mastria, Executive Director of the AAF supported Digital Advertising Alliance, testified before the Senate Homeland Security Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations and delivered the DAA message of online privacy through enhanced consumer choice.
The primary focus of the hearing was on cybersecurity, malware in advertising, not privacy. However, the DAA took the opportunity to educate the committee members about the DAA’s self-regulatory principles for Interest Based Advertising and how they enhance the online consumer and brand experience.

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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.