June 13, 2014
DAA Testifies on Location Privacy
Lou Mastria, Executive Director of the AAF-supported Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA), testified before a June 4 hearing conducted in the Senate Committee on the Judiciary subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law. The subject of the hearing was the Location Privacy Protection Act, sponsored by Chairman Al Franken, D-Minn. Mastriaexplained how the DAA principles require companies to obtain consent before collecting and transferring precise location data from individuals and that users be able to revoke that consent at any time. Much of the hearing was devoted to provisions of the bill that would ban the development, operation, and sale of GPS tracking apps that many stalkers have placed and hidden on other individuals’ phones without consent. The AAF and DAA have no objection to those provisions of the legislation.
Senate Committee to Look at Advertising Issues
The Senate Commerce Committee has scheduled two hearings on advertising issues. On June 17 the committee will look at the False and Deceptive Advertising of Weight Loss Products. A June 18 hearing will look at e-cigarette marketing. Lee Peeler, President of the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council has been invited to testify at the June 17 hearing on weight loss products.
Proposed Bill Would Tax Sugared Drinks
Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., said she is working on legislation to place a federal tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, and hopes to have the bill ready to be introduced in the near future. While Rep. DeLauro did not address advertising, she made the announcement during remarks to a conference organized by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a group that has often advocated restricting advertising for disfavored products. Her bill follows legislation recently introduced by Sens. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., which would deny the federal tax deduction for advertising to children under age 14 of foods of “poor nutritional quality,” presumably including the beverages to be targeted by Rep. DeLauro.
Corporate Tax Holiday Unlikely
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, the senior Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, released figures estimating a tax holiday for income that companies earned abroad and bring back to the United States would cost the U.S. Treasury $95.9 billion over 10 years. “A tax holiday meant to encourage U.S. companies to repatriate funds from overseas should only be considered when it makes economic sense, such as part of comprehensive tax reform,” Hatch said.
While no specific tax holiday proposal is currently being considered in Congress, the idea has been discussed as lawmakers look for ways to spur business investment and the economy by encouraging companies to bring home assets that are held abroad to avoid higher U.S. tax rates.
The comprehensive tax reform package introduced by House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., addressed the issue by creating a territorial system, with the goal of ending deferral of corporate earnings. Chairman Camp’s plan also included the proposal to only allow a 50% current year deduction of advertising expenses, with the remaining 50% amortized over 10 years.
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