AAF Government Report – April 2022

april 6, 2022
ad tax removed from kentucky legislation
Soon after AAF alerted its Kentucky members to an ad tax included in legislation introduced by State Representative Jason Petrie (R-Elkton) Chair of the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee, the provision was removed from the bill. As introduced, HB 8 would have expanded Kentucky’s 6% gross receipts sales and use tax base to 39 new services, including advertising and graphic design services.

After undergoing multiple changes during negotiations between the Kentucky House and Senate, the measure was passed and sent to Governor Andy Beshear (D) without the tax on advertising. Unfortunately, the bill does include a tax on marketing services and photography and photo finishing services. At this writing it is uncertain if the Governor will sign the measure into law. If vetoed the Republican-controlled legislature has a sizeable majority, capable of an override.

state privacy update
Six AAF Florida advertising clubs signed on to comments opposing restricting privacy bills being considered in the Florida Senate and House of Representatives. The legislature adjourned March 11, without enacting either bill.

All three AAF Washington advertising clubs joined in a letter to lawmakers urging them to not pass flawed privacy measures being considered in the state legislature. As in Florida, the legislature adjourned without passing the bills.

AAF filed comments on pending privacy legislation in Alaska. Utah Governor Spencer Cox (R) has signed the Utah Consumer Privacy Act into law. While AAF does not support state privacy laws, we are pleased the Utah law is a relatively business and consumer friendly measure similar to the law previously passed in Virginia.

congress urged to act on privacy
The Washington Post has urged Congress to overcome their differences and enact a comprehensive data privacy law. AAF, working with the Privacy for America Coalition has long advocated for a strong national privacy law. In supporting that position, the paper’s editorial board suggested ways to find common ground on the two most contentious issues, federal preemption and private rights of action:

“The whole point of federal legislation is to avoid an unworkable patchwork of conflicting mandates; as long as a nationwide law is sufficiently robust, it should preempt state laws that are inconsistent, while still allowing local strictures that fill gaps to stand. As for the right to sue, individuals should be empowered to seek redress—but only under certain circumstances, including financial loss or a defined set of egregious violations of privacy.”

Whether this push compels Congress to act remains to be seen.

advertising day on the hill
(and in state capitols)
March 17, AAF conducted a successful virtual Advertising Day on the Hill. More than 70 people registered for the event which featured an array of impressive speakers.

Serena Viswanathan, associate director, Division of Advertising Practices at the Federal Trade Commission, discussed the agency’s advertising regulation priorities and shared an overview of recent representative deceptive advertising cases. Shannon Smith, Counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation discussed the prospects for a new federal law addressing privacy and data security.

Participants also learned about issues confronting advertising from some of AAF’s coalition partners. Lou Mastria, executive director of the Digital Advertising Alliance and Mike Signorelli a partner at Venable and Counsel to Privacy for America discussed federal and state privacy issues. Mac Campbell, a partner at Capitol Counsel and counsel to The Advertising Coalition briefed the attendees on federal attempts to limit the full federal tax deductibility of advertising expenses.

Finally, Arielle Garcia, chief privacy officer for UM Worldwide, and a member of AAF’s Advertising Hall of Achievement, talked about the importance of robust privacy practices from a business perspective.

We are grateful to our sponsors, TikTokMeta and the Digital Advertising Alliance for their support of this important program. While the virtual Advertising Day on the Hill was a great success, we are hopeful we will return to Washington, D.C., and demonstrate the power of AAF grassroots by including in-person meetings with senators, representatives, and their staffs.

In addition to AAF’s Advertising Day on the Hill, AAF advertising clubs in Texas, Nebraska and Iowa held events in their state capitols in March. Here are reports from those events.

texas day at the capitol
march 2, 2022
12:00pm–3:30pm CT on zoom 
Helena Abbing
AAF Austin Government Co-Chair Reporting

Goal: Educate membership and unite Texas AAF chapters in our grassroots mission.
As part of our strategy to engage members for our March event, AAF Austin Government co-chair Lucas Lee led the development of a Texas Lege 101 deck. This is a top-level explanation of how our State Legislature meets bi-annually and how bills are proposed. AAF Austin Government Co-chair Helena Abbing worked with the Texas team of volunteers alongside District 10 and national leadership to develop talking points and a leave-behind for Texas legislators after our meetings.

We kicked off the event with an overview of the AAF Government Relations mission by D10 Governor Stephanie Price and AAF President and CEO Steve Pacheco.

With help from our Houston AAF President Ray Shilens, we pre-recorded sessions covering issues of Taxation and Privacy with Clark Rector, executive vice president of Government Affairs for AAF National and Michael Signorelli, partner at Venable, LLP. Having a virtual event allowed for participation of chapters outside of Austin.

Our team had pre-set appointments with more than 20 key legislators/staffers, and we connected with them in breakout rooms after the educational program. We covered our talking points: to serve as a resource, educate them on our economic contributions, and show we are a powerful voice that when unified, cannot be ignored.

iowa ad day at the capitol
Tom Woody
AAF Des Moines Government Relations Director Reporting

Last month, members of AAF Des Moines hosted their 13th annual Ad Day at the Capitol, a legislative day where members of the advertising community connect with state senators and representatives. AAF-Des Moines traditionally holds this event annually, but due to safety concerns and changes in operations at the Iowa State House as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the club had not been able to host the event in the last two years. Many of the representatives noted that they were grateful to see groups like the AAF back in the building to discuss policy and issues. Digital advertising and data privacy were a reoccurring theme in discussions with many of the policy makers and aides who shared that it has been a big point of interest and concerns that have been raised by constituents. This event was important and timely as a digital advertising tax had been discussed in the legislative session. AAF Des Moines, AAF National and other industry partners were successful in combating that proposal.

aaf nebraska day under the dome
Cassi Warren
AAF Nebraska 2nd Vice President Reporting

March 29, 2022, was AAF Nebraska’s inaugural Ad Day Under the Dome. The Legislative Committee focused efforts to get appointments with senators in the Revenue and Business & Labor Committees. The AAF Nebraska legislative chair, 2nd vice president and four AAF Nebraska members took to the halls of the Nebraska State Capitol meeting with 16 Nebraska state legislators. The AAF Nebraska shared updated data on the economic impacts the advertising industry brings to Nebraska’s economy (both in sales revenue and jobs) and offered AAF Nebraska leadership as a resource to our Nebraska lawmakers. The goal was set and executed with our grassroots effort to build personal connections with these senators so they will keep the advertising community in the forefront when writing and proposing legislation.

The AAF protects and promotes advertising at all levels of government through grassroots activities. Our nation-wide network monitors advertising-related legislation on local, state and federal levels. We put our members face-to-face with influential lawmakers while encouraging self-regulation as a preemptor to government intervention, when appropriate of course. To learn more about our advocacy efforts, click here.


AAF National NewsAAF Nebraska NewsLegislative Issues

Get In Touch

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.