AAF National Government Report


November 25, 2019

  • AAF Supports National Privacy Law
  • State Privacy Update
  • AAF Plans Privacy Webinar
  • Senators Target DTC Advertising
  • Senate Bill Would Limit Tobacco Ad Tax Deduction
  • AAF Grassroots in Action
AAF Supports National Privacy Law

AAF President Steve Pacheco has joined other association leaders of the Privacy for America coalition to call on Congress to enact federal privacy legislation. Given the recent enactment of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and likely consideration of similar measures in other states (see below), a strong federal privacy law that protects all American consumers and provides for a single set of standards for businesses in every state to follow is more important than ever.

The members of Privacy for America support legislation that removes consumers burden by creating a standard of clear and enforceable requirements for businesses to collect and use data responsibility, better inform consumers how their data is being used and outlaw harmful data practices.

Legislation should make plain what data uses are forbidden. For example, companies should not be allowed to use someone’s personal information, unless specifically permitted by federal or state law, to deny them a job, credit, insurance or health care.

Similarly, the most sensitive types of personal information—such as medical, financial or biometric information—must not be used without the consumer’s explicit permission.

Companies should be barred from sharing a consumer’s personal information with third parties, unless they have enforceable contracts ensuring the data will be secured and used lawfully.

To insure that regulators have the necessary resources to investigate and punish bad actors, Privacy for America supports the creation of a new Data Protection Bureau at the Federal Trade Commission, including additional staff and resources to fulfill the mission.

The letter is timely as the Senate Commerce Committee is said to be planning a December 4, hearing on privacy and data issues. In addition, Senate Democrats recently released principles for a privacy and data protection framework.

State Privacy Update

Not all potential action is at the federal level. AAF has heard reports of possible data and privacy legislation in Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon and Washington during the 2020 legislative sessions. Other states are likely to join the list.

In October, California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) signed into law a measure requiring “data brokers” to register with the state attorney general. The measure is an amendment to the CCPA. AAF and our industry partners wrote to the governor opposing the bill because we believe the definition of data broker is so broad that it would include businesses conducting routine activities such as analytics and fraud detection, resulting in numerous problems for consumers, the attorney general and businesses.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D) has announced a series of public forums across the state the week of December 2, to take public comment on the regulation released to enforce the CCPA.

The AAF supported Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) has announced a cross-industry tool for publishers, brands, agencies and adtech in the digital advertising supply chain to provide consumers a mechanism to opt out under the California Consumer Privacy Act.

The DAA tool enables publishers to display a CCPA-mandated text link and a unique icon to California users. Clicking on the link directs users to publisher information and options, including access to the CCPA Opt-Out Tool, if third parties collect and sell data from the property.

The CCPA Opt-Out Tool, consistent with the existing DAA Choice Tool, gives consumers broader privacy control than required under the CCPA by allowing them to opt out of the sale of personal information across all of the DAA participating companies integrated into the new tool from a single website.

AAF Plans Privacy WebinarThe AAF will be hosting a webinar on December 9 to provide members with more information on privacy issues, including:

  • the forthcoming California Consumer Privacy Act as well as other state laws that have been enacted
  • the prospects for a pre-emptive federal privacy law as enveloped in the Privacy for America initiative, and a
  • review of political ad transparency initiatives, namely the DAA About Political Ads program, with tips on how to implement as campaign season for the 2020 Election begins.

The 60-minute webinar will discuss the current state of regulation/self-regulation—and how marketing data users in advertising need to be prepared.

The webinar will be December 9, at 2:00 pm Eastern (1:00 pm Central, 12:00 noon Mountain and 11:00 am Pacific). Participants can register for the webinar here.

Senators Target DTC Advertising

Senators John Cornyn, R-Texas and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., have written legislative language requiring pharmaceutical advertising to include the price of the advertised drug. In the past, they tried unsuccessfully to attach the language to an omnibus appropriations bill and have indicated they may do so again. AAF is skeptical about the measure on First Amendment grounds, and in part because drug pricing, insurance, subsidies and other factors, are rarely straightforward and the disclosures would unlikely reflect what consumers actually pay for medications.

Senate Bill Would Limit Tobacco Ad Tax Deduction

Senator Jean Shaheen, D-NH has introduced a bill that would deny the tax deductibility of the advertising for E-cigarette and tobacco advertising. AAF opposes the measure because the First Amendment prohibits banning or taxing commercial speech based on the content of the speech. No action has been scheduled on the measure.

AAF Grassroots in Action

AAF grassroots are hard at work representing their members and the advertising industry before state lawmakers. AAF ad clubs in Texas and Florida recently conducted Days in their state capitols. Here are two recent reports.

On Tuesday October 22nd, Kevin Couch, AAF Dallas Government Chair organized the first ever Texas Capitol visit for the AAF District 10 Chapters. Participation from several chapters such as AAF Austin, AAF Corpus Christi, Ad 2 Dallas, AAF San Antonio is what made this day have such a tremendous impact on our efforts to advance our organization with policy makers at the State Capitol.

The days topics were really focused on our National AAF policy stance on the Data Privacy Standards—of which a Texas lawmaker introduced a bill in the previous session to have a “Texas Version” of CCPA. We were successful in making our views known and developing relationships.

There are plans in the works for a strategic conversation with both Republican and Democratic caucuses preceding the next session, and that will have tremendous impact because we will be talking directly to the legislators and their Chiefs of Staff at those meetings!

Kevin Couch
AAF Dallas Government Chair

Members of the AAF’s Fourth District held another successful Advertising Day at the Capitol recently on November 5th  in Tallahassee. Over 40 members from across Florida participated in the annual event offering one-on-one meetings with House and Senate members to discuss issues of interest to the advertising community.

Topping their list of concerns was the need to continue the existence and funding for Visit Florida, a public-private partnership dedicated to tourism marketing for the Sunshine State which has been under fire in recent years. Members also lobbied for a new tax rebate program designed to attract film and digital entertainment production in hopes of filling the void created when lawmakers decided to end funding for Florida’s film incentive programs several years ago.

“It’s definitely one of the most important events we hold as a district each year,” said District 4 Gov. Mike Weber. “And I have yet to hear anything but positive comments from our members who give up a day of their time to better understand a day in the life of an elected official.”

Jack Herbert
AAF Fourth District Lobbyist/Government Relations

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.


Get In Touch

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.