Government Report: September 2017
September 27, 2017
Clark Rector, Jr., Executive Vice President of Government Affairs
Senior Congressional and Administration officials have released their Unified Framework for Fixing our Broken Tax Code. The so-called “Big 6” (Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, House Speaker Paul Ryan, House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch) have been negotiating the details of the plan for weeks.
The plan would reduce the corporate tax rate to 20%. Many of the specific details are yet to be determined, but in order of offset the loss of revenue because of the significant rate reduction for businesses, “numerous special exclusions and deductions will be repealed or restricted.”
The plan as released is silent as to exactly which exclusions and deductions will be targeted. However, Treasury Department officials and senior legislative aides to members of the tax writing committees from both side of the aisle have confirmed to AAF and other advertising industry representatives that advertising is still very much being considered as a deduction that may be reduced or eliminated.
The last comprehensive tax reform proposals released in 2014 by then Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich. and Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont. would have paid for lowering rates by, in part, limiting the current year federal tax deduction for advertising to 50% and amortizing the rest over ten (House) or five (Senate) years.
AAF continues to meet with Administration and Congressional officials and aides to explain to them that advertising is a key driver of the economy and that increasing the tax burden on advertising would be counterproductive to their goals of growth and spurring economic activity which they are counting on to increase tax revenues.
AAF has also sent an alert to members urging them to contact their Senators and Representatives and urge them to oppose any effort to tax advertising.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration may consider shortening the list of warnings and contraindications found in direct-to-consumer advertising of pharmaceuticals. According to FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the "FDA's own research on broadcast TV drug advertisements suggests that a more targeted method for delivering risk information may lead to better retention of those risks." The FDA has released a Request for Information and Comments so that the public and interested parties may submit their views. The comment period closes November 20, 2017.
The Advertising Self-Regulatory Council (ASRC) and Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) have announced the appointment of new leadership for both the National Advertising Division (NAD) and Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU).
Laura Ulrich Brett has been named Director of the NAD and Dona J. Fraser has been named Director of the CARU. Policies and procedures for NAD and CARU are set by the ASRC. The ASRC self-regulatory system is administered by the CBBB.
AAF is a proud supporter of the advertising industry self-regulatory program, which has often been recognized as one of the premiere industry self-regulatory programs. Self-regulation increased confidence in advertising and is good for the industry and consumers.
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