AAF Government Affairs Update



October 28, 2016

Clark Rector Jr., Executive Vice President of Government Affairs

FCC Chairman Recommends Changes
to Privacy Rulemaking

On October 27, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved new privacy rules for broadband service providers. In early October, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler released a Fact Sheet regarding the Commission’s previously released Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that made dramatic and unprecedented changes to the Notice.

Most notably, by expanding the definition of “sensitive data,” to include web browsing and application use data when linked to a device alone. Sensitive data requires a consumer’s opt-in to use or share. This is a significant departure from accepted industry practice and customer expectation that the collection and use of web viewing and application use data for advertising purposes is subject to an opt-out choice.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the agency with a long history of privacy protection, has long held that “sensitive data” does not include web browsing or application use data.

AAF and many of our sister associations wrote to the FCC explaining our concerns with the change and the harm it would do to businesses, consumers and the thriving Internet economy which relies on the support of data-driven advertising. Also expressed, was the concern that the rules only apply to service providers and not other entities in the online world.

Additionally, in-person follow-up meetings with FCC Commissioners and staff took place for further discussions. AAF and our allies have submitted a Proposal Regarding Sensitive Information and Consent and a series of “ex parte” letters responding to specific concerns.

We have communicated that industry self-regulation through the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) has effectively addressed consumer privacy concerns. Self-regulation can typically adapt to changes in technology and practices more quickly than the government can. DAA CEO Lou Mastria recently published an op-ed explaining the role of self-regulation in the context of the FCC Notice. Additionally, the DAA announced in October that it intends to start enforcing the industry’s privacy code for cross-device tracking in February of 2017.

Louisiana Commission Looks at Advertising Tax Exemption

On October 4, the Louisiana Sales Tax Streamlining & Modernization Commission conducted a routine hearing to examine a long list of exclusions and exemptions to the state’s sales tax code, including advertising services (relevant video begins at approximately 50 minutes in).

Jason Broha, a member of the AAF-Baton Rouge Board of Directors testified before the Commission on behalf of the club and AAF. He explained the economic impact that advertising has on jobs in Louisiana and the harm that removing the exemption would do the state’s economy and local businesses. Commission members were unanimous in their position that advertising should not be a taxable service in the state. They subsequently passed a motion clarifying that any recommendations passed by the Commission explicitly state that advertising should remain an untaxed service.

Food Advertising Under Fire Around the World

At a recent international assembly, the World Medical Association recommended that “the advertising of non-nutritious products be restricted during television programming and other forms of media that appeal to children.” In Israel, a Health Ministry Committee has recommended that ads for “unwholesome” foods directed at children be banned and those for adults be subject to restrictions.

Neither body has the power to enact their recommendations, but they illustrate the mindset of many activists that believe that attacking commercial speech is the way to address societal problems.

Clinton Targets DTC Ads

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton released her extended plan to address prescription drug price hikes, which includes her previously announced proposed restrictions on pharmaceutical advertising. Specifically, the plan would “eliminate corporate write-offs for direct-to-consumer advertising” and “establish a mandatory FDA pre-clearance procedure for these ads.” AAF will continue to fight harmful proposals such as these and continue to educate lawmakers of the many benefits of DTC advertising, especially their proven ability to prompt many consumers to visit a doctor to begin needed conversations about important medical conditions. We will also remind them that government approval of advertising strikes at the very heart of the First Amendment guarantees of free speech.

Advertising Day on the Hill

Mark your calendars for AAF’s Advocacy & Action: Advertising Day on the Hill on the evening of March 29 and all day March 30. At this exciting free event, attendees will learn from lawmakers and experts about the issues facing the advertising industry and take their message to Capitol Hill in meetings with their Senators, Representatives and their staffs.

“Attending the American Advertising Federation Day on the Hill event is not only an opportunity to understand some of the issues facing our industry, but a chance to become a part of the solution. I found this to be the single most helpful and insightful event in the AAF organization. It is an honor to attend this event,” said Lisa Delany, AAF District 15 Lt. Governor.

Registration and hotel information will be announced very soon, but for now save the date and plan to be in Washington, DC on March 29 and 30 for AAF’s Advocacy & Action: Advertising Day on the Hill.

The AAF Government Report is available to all members of the AAF. If you are interested in receiving an e-mailed copy, please e-mail government@aaf.org.

If you are interested in receiving the AAF SmartBrief, an opt-in news service, please visit www.smartbrief.com/aaf. The AAF SmartBrief condenses advertising industry news from dozens of media sources into a succinct, easy to read e-mail.

Go to the AAF’s Advocacy webpage.

POSITION OPENING: UF/IFAS Public Relations Specialist

UF/IFAS Communications is currently recruiting for a full time TEAMS Public Relations Specialist II. More details at:


It’s Officially Official!

AAFGNV_LogoUnveil_2015AdFed Gainesville has some exciting news! We’ve officially changed our name from the Advertising Federation of Gainesville to the American Advertising Federation Gainesville (AAF Gainesville). With this name change also comes a brand new logo!
This is part of AAF National’s initiative to create a strong brand presence across all the the clubs in the nation. You’ll see some new branding rolling out in the upcoming weeks. Our Facebook page link has since been changed to www.facebook.com/AAFGainesville. The board is working hard to get this year planned so be ready for an amazing year with AAF Gainesville!

Congrats to Our ADDY Winners!

ADDY WinnersBig congratulations are in order for our ADDY winners from last week’s Advertising Awards Gala!

Special shout out to our Best in Show winners: neutral7, Parisleaf and Frankel Media Group for our professional group and Rukmini Poddar for our student group. Well done!

As you may already know, GOLD winners are automatically forwarded to the district competition at no charge to be judged along with other entries from AAF clubs in Florida and the Caribbean.

For SILVER recipients, you can choose to forward your award to the district competition. In order to do so, please respond by Monday, March 2nd at 5PM with your entry code, entry name and company contact to jeannette@frankelmedia.com. The fee for forwarding your entry is below.

Forward Silver ADDY to District

Certificate Re-prints

Did you win an award and want another copy for yourself and/or your client? Reprints are available at $15 per award. Please email adfed.president@gmail.com with your entry code, entry name and company contact by Monday at 5 PM in order to have yours reprinted.

Thanks again for your support of the Advertising Federation of Gainesville and the American Advertising Federation.

ils logo

Welcome New Member – iLS Network

ils logoWelcome our new member and their team – iLS Network.  iLS network is collection of online apartment guides – known in the apartment industry as “internet listing service” websites – changing the way renters find apartments. Their network of websites provides renters with the confidence that they are indeed making the right choice in their search for an apartment.  Visit their website to learn more about iLS.  Welcome to Adfed!  http://www.ilsnetwork.com/

Urgent AAF Alert – Senate Bill Limits Ad Deductibility


  Senator Max Baucus, D-Mont., Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee released draft tax reform legislation today that takes direct aim at advertising (section 23, page 104). The bill would only allow 50% of advertising expenses to be deducted in the current year, with the remaining 50% amortized over 5 years.

It is critically important that the advertising industry speak loudly and clearly to Senators and oppose any limitation on the full tax deductibility of advertising. Please contact your Senators today and ask them to oppose any change to the tax treatment of advertising.

The full current year deduction for advertising expenses should be preserved because:

  • Advertising – local, regional and national – generates $5.6 trillion in total economic activity for our country and helps support 22.1 million, or 15% of all jobs in the U.S. economy. The stimulus generated by advertising brings jobs and sales to every state and to every community. Even a modest reduction that limits the amount a business may deduct of its total advertising spending could have a devastating impact on jobs and economic activity.
  • For 100 years the Tax Code years has rightly permitted businesses to deduct the full cost of their advertising, just as it permits the deduction of other business costs like salaries, rent, utilities and office supplies. It is not a special preference or deduction, it is a normal and necessary expense that a business must pay to communicate with customers and generate sales.
  • Nobel prize-winning economists who have looked at the advertising deduction have concluded that nothing in the economic literature justifies a change in tax policy. They have argued it makes no economic or common sense to make businesses pay more for advertising.
  • Making advertising more expensive would only cause a decline in ad spending and cost jobs, since every $1 spent on advertising leads to $20 in economic activity.
  • The proposal also does not consider that companies buy new advertising each year and would feel the brunt of this tax annually. Not only would they have less money to spend on advertising year after year, but media companies would also be impacted as advertisers would be forced to reduce their ad buys.

Senators can be easily contacted though the U.S. Senate website.  Just look for “Find Your Senators” in the upper right hand corner of the page.

Please circulate this alert to other members of your company and/or ad club and report back to me any response you may receive.  Do not hesitate to let me know if you have any comments or questions.  Thank you for your assistance with this vital matter.

Clark Rector
Executive Vice President-Government Affairs
American Advertising Federation
Follow me on Twitter @ClarkRector1
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AAF Governtment Alert: Possible Tax On Advdertising

We have recently learned from a Member of the House Ways and Means Committee that the Committee is seriously considering a tax on advertising as part of the tax reform bill that Chairman Dave Camp, D-Mich, hopes to release later this month or early October. It is critical that you and other members of your ad club and company contact members of the Committee as soon as possible, and express your strong opposition to such a proposal.  This is especially important if you live in a Committee member’s district.


We do not know the exact form that the tax may take.  Ideas that have been discussed in the past include a proposal that would allow businesses to deduct only 80 percent or less of their advertising costs.  Other proposals would require businesses to amortize a portion of advertising costs – postponing the deduction over several years until long after the advertising has appeared.


Any kind of a tax on advertising would cost the nation millions of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in lost economic activity. This is a direct impact documented by a landmark study of the economic impact of advertising on the U.S. economy.


As I wrote in an earlier alert, advertising – local, regional and national – generates $5.6 trillion in total economic activity for our country and helps support 22.1 million jobs in the U.S. economy. The stimulus generated by advertising brings jobs and sales to every state and to every congressional district. Even a modest reduction that limits the amount a business may deduct of its total advertising spending could cost the nation 1.6 million jobs and $419 billion in economic sales activity.


The critical message to convey to Members of Congress is that the deduction for advertising costs is not a special preference or deduction. Every business in America is entitled to this deduction, which is classified as an ordinary and necessary business expense just like the salaries of employees, rent for office space, utilities and other costs that a business must pay to keep the doors open and to generate sales. This deduction is for core business expenses and has been permitted since the adoption of the Tax Code in 1913. You should emphasize that you are not seeking a special treatment or exemption – you are asking Congress to maintain the business expense deduction allowed for advertising for the past 100 years.


As you may have heard in news reports, tax reform is considered a long-shot for enactment this year.  However, even if does not pass, any bill drafted by the Ways and Means Committee is likely to be the starting point for future reform efforts.  Therefore, it is essential that we persuade Committee members and Chairman Camp from including a tax on advertising in the draft bill. 


The members of the Committee are listed below.  They all can be reached through links on the Ways and Means Committee or U.S. House of Representatives websites.  Please report back any response you may receive and do not hesitate to let me know if you have any comments or questions.

Committee on Ways and Means


Camp, Dave (MI), Chairman
Johnson, Sam (TX)
Brady, Kevin (TX)
Ryan, Paul (WI)
Nunes, Devin (CA)
Tiberi, Pat (OH)
Reichert, Dave (WA)
Boustany, Charles (LA)
Roskam, Peter (IL)
Gerlach, Jim (PA)
Price, Tom (GA)
Buchanan, Vern(FL)
Smith, Adrian (NE)
Schock, Aaron (IL)
Jenkins, Lynn (KS)
Paulsen, Erik (MN)
Marchant, Kenny (TX)
Black, Diane (TN)
Reed, Tom (NY)
Young, Todd (IN)
Kelly, Mike (PA)
Griffin, Tim (AR)
Jim Renacci (PH)


Levin, Sander (MI), Ranking Minority Member
Rangel, Charles(NY)
McDermott, Jim (WA)
Lewis, John (GA)
Neal, Richard (MA)
Becerra, Xavier(CA)
Doggett, Lloyd (TX)
Thompson, Mike (CA)
Larson, John (CT)
Blumenauer, Earl (OR)
Kind, Ron (WI)
Pascrell, Bill (NJ)
Crowley, Joseph (NY)
Schwartz, Allyson (PA)
Davis, Danny (IL)
Sanchez, Linda (CA)

Clark Rector
Executive Vice President-Government Affairs
American Advertising Federation

Welcome New Members

New Members Sharp Kwik  Visit their websites to learn more about our New members.

  www.kwikturnmedia.com  and www.sharpspring.com

Message from the President

The 2012-13 Adfed year came to a close this month with a fun social at Vellos Brickstreet Grill and installation of your new board for 2013-14.   We accomplished so many exciting thinADFED1g this past year.  A few things that will make our club operations run smoothly for years to come include, cleaning up our membership directory for communications, dues and online.  Our Social Media efforts have generated increased awareness for our club and relationships with our local media.  And our members are saving time with our credit card processing at events and online.

A few more accomplishments include, new active and corporate members and our programs this year were elevated with high profile speakers and webinars for education and professional development

Our two main programs each year are Media Auction and the ADDY competition.  Both events were great successes with a positive return allowing us to continue funding of our Scholarship program with the UF Advertising Department and the Santa Fe College Digital Media Department.

Along with our membership volunteers, each of your board members has contributed to this successes and I want to thank all of you for your time and support given to our club to promote the advertising industry in our community.

I am looking forward to serving another year as your president and working with our New Board to continue achieving the goals of our organization with a focus on professional development and supporting education for the future of advertising.

We say good bye to a few dedicated board members that have served many years but they are not allowed to move to Hawaii so they will still be involved with adfed.  Thank you, Jorge, Jeannette, James, John and Katie for your many years of service.

Now we welcome back a few members and announce a few new board members that actually represent the new corporate members that joined in the last year and a returning board member from a few years ago.  Kathy Staffa, Secretary, Nick DeConna Programs Chair, Eric Flagg Education Chair, Tom Duffy Public Service Chair and Hector DeVall ADDY Chair.  Returning Jennifer Norman President Elect, Kinnon Thomas Treasurer, Susan Meurlott Membership, Sue Wagner President Advisory and Wes Lindberg Communications.

Please welcome your new board and speak to each of them and find out about volunteer opportunities there are for the upcoming year.

Stay connected for updates on our events and programs.  Mark your calendars for the weekend of Sept 6 – 9th.

FREE Digital Resource Guide from the National AAF Conference

AAF Digital GuideWe couldn’t attend the amazing AdAmerica AAF Conference in Phoenix, but we can download the free Digital Resource Guide, featuring interviews, trends and best practices from some of the most influential minds in digital advertising!   As a member of Adfed Gainesville, you receive all the benefits of the National AAF.   Download the resource guide now for great interviews with professionals from FedX, Universal McCann and the creative minds behind the Allstate campaigns.