Advertising organizations on alert on Capitol Hill


MoneyCongress is looking for ways to pay the bills and cut the national debt, and one prime arena in the project is the tax code. The ANA and AAF are concerned that among the targets will be advertising tax write-offs as a business expense. Plus, some on Capitol Hill are looking at selective write-off cuts based on what’s being advertised.

According to an Ad Age story, both Max Baucus (D-MT) in the Senate and Dave Camp (R-MI) are looking at the tax code very closely, and both ANA and AAF are trying to play defense early.

One proposal said to be on the table is to continue to allow advertising costs to be expensed, but over a period of years rather than fully during the year the advertising is purchased.

The advertising agencies point out that any move that damages the advertising business is counterproductive – it leads to reduced sales for business that are forced to cut back on advertising, and that in turn leads to a less-productive economy and less income flowing back into government coffers.

Meanwhile, the Ad Age article noted a bill coming from Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) that would eliminate the deduction for any ad that tries to market unhealthy food to children. It is said that she will soon have a partner in Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) to bring similar legislation to the Senate.

AAF lobbyist Clark Rector has sent a government alert out to members noting the current activity on Capitol Hill and requesting assistance sooner rather than later, particularly in the form of contacting their representatives in Congress with the message to resist any attempt to alter the way advertising is treated in the tax code.

That said, members of the organizations note that as yet there is nothing concrete on the table.