Government Report: February/March 2024

Get updates on political advertising, state ad taxes, state privacy laws, and a food advertising bill.

AAF Government Affairs Committee to Look at Political Advertising

All AAF members are invited to attend the next virtual AAF Government Affairs Committee Meeting, Wednesday, March 13, at 3:00pm ET (2:00pm CT, 1:00pm MT, 12:00pm PT), where we will join with our partners at the Digital Advertising Alliance to present the following webinar:

The Political Ad Transparency Imperative:
Sorting Through March Election Madness!

There will be an estimated $17 billion spent on political advertising in the United States for this year’s General Election. A huge part of this will be in digital categories—all of which have the same transparency expectations of voters that direct mail, out-of-home, radio and linear television do.

In this webinar, we will focus on digital advertising—and what unique demands political advertisers (and their agencies and ad partners) must satisfy to comply with state and federal regulations, as well as to adhere to self-regulatory and ethics principles embodied in self-regulation, such as the Digital Advertising Alliance Political Ad icon and transparency/registry platform (the same organization behind the AdChoices privacy program).

You will leave the webinar with: 

  • An understanding of current state and federal election law for political ad transparency—and how they apply to digital platforms
  • A description of the DAA Political Ads program and platform—and how it can leveraged to meet the public’s transparency expectations
  • The roles agencies can play to best support their political advertising clients, whether candidate campaigns or PACs

To RSVP, please contact Clark Rector at crector@aaf.orgLogin information will be provided a few days prior. We hope that you can join us on March 13.

Nebraska Advertising Tax on Hold

February 1, the Nebraska Legislature’s Revenue Committee conducted a hearing on the proposed Advertising Services Tax. Following alerts from AAF Nebraska and AAF National, numerous advertising professionals in the state contacted their representatives to express opposition to the tax. AAF Nebraska Legislative Chair Robert Richardson attended the hearing and testified against the proposed tax and published an op-edexplaining our opposition to the tax in the Nebraska Examiner. No further action on the bill has been scheduled at this time. The legislature is currently scheduled to adjourn in mid-April.

State Privacy Update

AAF continues to provide comments to state lawmakers looking to enact privacy and data security laws. We believe businesses and consumers would be best served by an effective national law and are advocating for one with our partners in Privacy for America. Until such a law is enacted, we recognize many states will try to fill the void. While we do not support the state laws, our comments are submitted in the spirit of working to ensure all state laws are as uniform as possible.

In Maryland, we were joined by AAF Baltimore with comments regarding the Maryland Online Data Privacy Act. We also wrote lawmakers regarding the Maryland Age-Appropriate Design Code Act.

We have expressed our concerns to Hawaii lawmakers over privacy and data-broker legislation that would severely disadvantage small businesses in the state.

In Massachusetts, we wrote lawmakers regarding the Online Advertising Act, and again concerning the Massachusetts Information Privacy and Security Act.

We reached out to Minnesota legislators about HF 2309, which would create a regime regarding consumers’ personal data inconsistent with those in other states.

We have written three letters (letter 1letter 2letter 3) to Vermont lawmakers, regarding legislation dealing generally with data privacy, a well-intentioned, but overly restrictive bill regarding health data, and another creating an ill-advised age-appropriate design code.

New York Bill Targets Food Advertising

AAF has written to New York State lawmakers regarding legislation designed to “protect children from junk food companies targeting them with false or misleading advertisements.” Our letter explains how the legislation is overly broad with vague and undefined terminology and runs counter to the First Amendment protections for truthful and non-deceptive advertising.

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.