113th Congress Adjourns
The 113th Congress has adjourned without enacting any legislation harmful to the advertising industry.
The biggest threat to advertising in the past year was in Senate and House corporate tax reform proposals that included provisions to limit the current year deduction for advertising expenses to 50% with the remaining 50% to be amortized over a five or 10 year period.
As one of his last official acts as Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich.,– who is retiring – formally introduced his package as legislation with the honorary designation of H.R. 1. The introduction has little-to-no practical significance since introduced bills do not carry over to the next session of Congress, which begins in January. However, it is a symbolic act that sets out a potential starting point for tax reform efforts next year. While there are many positive aspects of the bill, the advertising provisions would be detrimental to the industry, consumers and the economy and AAF will work to keep them out of any future tax reform considerations.
On a related note, new Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., has announced that he will retain some of Chairman Camp’s committee staff, including some who were believed to be champions of amortizing advertising costs. While all final decisions will be by members of Congress, advocates of amortization on committee staff may make for a more challenging environment for advertising.
FTC Prohibited From Issuing Report
The FY 2015 Cromnibus legislation funding the government for the coming year includes language continuing the prohibition on the Federal Trade Commission completing its Interagency Working Group report until a cost-benefit analysis is performed. The IWG report would have issued so-called voluntary restrictions on the advertising to children of foods not meeting draconian nutrition standards.
BBB Requires Privacy Disclosures in Online Native Advertising
The Council of Better Business Bureaus Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program has released notice that interest-based native advertising must comply with the Digital Advertising Alliance’sSelf-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising. Both native advertising and interest-based advertising are growing and increasingly merging online. AAF sits on the Board of the Digital Advertising Alliance.
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