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Marketers Winning Skirmishes In The D.C. Wars

  • Brandweek, Tuesday, September 29, 2009 10:50 AM
Noreen O'Leary says that the sparring over taxation and advertising regulations in D.C. may just be getting underway but marketers are faring better than many observers expected in the early going. Manufacturers of everyday consumer items such as condoms and home pregnancy tests were heartened to learn last week that the Senate Finance Committee reconsidered a proposal to tax "medical devices" that cost less than $100.

Also last week, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) announced that he was scaling back on some of the provisions of the proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency. Proponents of the proposal claim the American business lobby has been waging a scare campaign. But, warns the Association of National Advertisers' Dan Jaffe: "It's a very broad law that affects every player in the advertising community: advertisers, agencies, media and the FTC -- the major regulator we have a long history with."

Other ideas floating around the Beltway but gaining little traction: eliminating the tax deductibility of pharmaceutical TV advertising to help finance healthcare and taxing sugar-sweetened drinks to help curb obesity. Says Clark Rector, evp of government affairs at the American Advertising Federation: "The thinking is that the business community is under fire and marketing tends to be the most visible face of that."



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