Clark Rector Jr., Executive Vice President–Government Affairs
House Republicans Release Tax Plan
The House of Representatives Republican leadership has released its Blueprint for tax reform. While the Blueprint does not specifically mention the tax treatment of advertising, it does offer some clues.
The Blueprint proposed to lower the corporate tax to a flat rate of 20 percent. It would eliminate special interest deductions and credits in favor of providing these lower tax rates for businesses. No mention is made of the deduction for the cost of advertising as a special interest deduction, however, it does say that businesses would be permitted to write off all tangible and intangible costs.
Republican Presidential candidate, Donald Trump, has not commented specifically on the plan.
On the Democratic side, Presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, has promised to release a plan to cut middle-class taxes. She has not said whether she supports bipartisan efforts to overhaul the corporate tax code by lowering rates and eliminating some deductions and credits.
Subcommittee Looks at Privacy
The House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology conducted a recent hearing looking at the Federal Communications CommissionNotice of Proposed Rulemaking on privacy issues. If enacted, the FCC would play a much greater, and somewhat contradictory, role in regulating an area that has long been under the province of the Federal Trade Commission.
The AAF and many of our sister associations wrote to Subcommittee members in support of strong self-regulatory standards on privacy supported by effective Federal Trade Commission enforcement. The Subcommittee’s majority staff cited the industry letter in its briefing memo to members.
Baltimore Considering Warnings in Beverage Ads
The Baltimore City Council conducted a June hearing on a measure that would require warning labels on sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) advertisements and in locations where SSBs are sold, stating that beverages with added sugar contribute to obesity, diabetes and tooth decay. Periodicals and broadcast advertising would be exempt, but the measure would apply to outdoor, transit and stadium advertising.
The AAF has sent an alert to our Baltimore members urging them to oppose the measure as unconstitutional, unnecessary and as a burden to local businesses.
A similar measure passed in San Francisco is currently being challenged in federal court.
Pharmacists Call for DTC Ad Ban
The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists has called on Congress to ban all direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising of prescription drugs and medication-containing devices. The resolution is similar to one passed by the American Medical Association last fall. The AAF’s response remains the same as was published in a blog post responding to the AMA – far from being harmful, DTC advertising provides a great benefit to public health by encouraging patients to begin a conversation with their medical professionals about their health conditions.
AAF Day on the Hill to Return
The American Advertising Federation has announced that Advocacy and Action: AAF Day on the Hill will return in the spring of 2017. During this exciting conference, advertising professionals from around the country will learn about the vital issues facing our industry and take to the halls of Congress to educate lawmakers about the vital role advertising plays in the U.S. economy.
The exact date of the conference, schedule and registration details will be announced soon.
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