Government Affairs Update

Government Affairs Update

Government Affairs Update

May 22, 2019

The American Advertising Federation protects and promotes advertising at all levels of government through grassroots activities. The national organization, based in Washington D.C., regularly communicates important government affairs updates to the local clubs. Through this nation-wide network, AAF is able to activate advocates on a state and local level.

As of April, AAF has identified privacy and possible red flags with deductions in advertising as key priorities. Below are more details related to both issues that all members should be aware of.

FTC Examines Privacy Issues

On April 9th and 10th the Federal Trade Commission conducted hearings on the FTC’s approach to consumer privacy. Speakers included representatives of industry, consumer groups, former regulators and legal experts. The panels examined topics such as: Goals of Privacy Protection, The Data Risk Spectrum, Consumer Demand and Expectations for Privacy, Current Approaches to Privacy, Role of Notice and Choice, Role of Access, Deletion, Correction and Accountability.

These proceedings are the beginning efforts for a push to create federal standards of practice and security for online privacy and consumer protection. The EU and some states have already passed legislation. If this continues, and each state has differing rules, there would potentially be a burden on ad servers and digital ad placement organization to adhere to up to 50 different sets of rules and regulations.

It’s our industry’s position that sensible federal legislation is needed to create a baseline of privacy and security for all consumers and establish a less complicated marketplace for the digital advertising industry. Representatives from AAF National in Washington have been meeting with members of the FTC to communicate our position.

AAF Supports a New Paradigm for Privacy

As reported in January, and as was agreed to at the FTC hearings, AAF is supportive of the enactment of a national privacy standard, a so-called New Paradigm for privacy. In December, we joined in a letter to the Federal Trade Commission supporting the concept.

AAF has been participating in meetings with many allied associations and companies to flesh out the specifics of what a national privacy law might look like. In general, AAF and our allies support legislation that would:

• Protect consumers nationwide
• Establish new prohibitions on certain data practices, including eligibility, discrimination, assisting and facilitating fraud, and sensitive data
• Create a New Data Protection Bureau at the Federal Trade Commission
• Grant enhanced rulemaking authority to the FTC
• Ensure responsible advertising practices
• Require strong data security protections, and
• Authorize strict penalties for violations

AAF will continue to work with our industry members and partners to advocate for a strong national privacy law that protects both consumers and industry.

Advertising Deductibility to Pay For Extenders

The AAF has learned limitations on the tax deductibility of advertising has once again been discussed by some members of the tax writing House Ways and Means Committee. The Committee is considering so-called tax extenders. These are typically “temporary” tax cuts that Congress enacts and then renews on a regular basis. In theory, but not always in practice, the lost revenue must be replaced to make the budget impact neutral.

It is uncertain whether the committee will look for revenue to offset the extenders, but they understand that some members of the committee have mentioned advertising deductibility as possible source of money if they do. AAF encourages local clubs in the districts of these committee members to reach out to these lawmakers and remind them of the amount of economic impact and jobs that advertising supports in their home districts. While there are no members of the Kentucky delegation on the Ways and Means Committee, AAF-Louisville encourages all members and supporters to be aware of these activities.

*This information was supplied by AAF-National. To learn more about these issues, visit the advocacy on their website here.