NAB buys ads in DC against performance tax


NAB has unveiled a new advocacy campaign opposing the performance tax effort. The 60-second spot, dubbed “Don’t Feed the Fat Cat,” was purchased by NAB and will began airing yesterday in DC in Citadel’s WMAL-AM and Bonneville’s WTOP-A/FM. The adv will also be available for radio stations to download through NAB’s recently launched grassroots advocacy Web site,

To download and listen to the 60-second spot in WMA format, click here.

The transcript:

“Once upon a time, the Record Label Fat Cat gorged on rich, tasty profits he got from music sales through radio. The radio played the music. The people bought the music. And the Fat Cat got fatter and fatter. At least, he did, until he ate up all his profits. Now he wants to tax the radio to see if he can taste a few more profits, by biting the hand that feeds him.

“But, that’s not so good for radio. It’s even worse for music and listeners. And it’s not a very happy ending to the story. The Record Label Fat Cat is fat enough. Let’s take the Performance Tax off his plate. If you want the real story of the Performance Tax, go to

“Don’t feed the Fat Cat.”

“NAB is delighted by the growing, bipartisan opposition to the performance tax,” said NAB EVP Dennis Wharton. “Members of Congress aren’t buying the ludicrous RIAA implication that record label business woes are somehow being caused by radio stations playing music. Bolstered by this new ad, we are cautiously optimistic Congress won’t impose a new fee that would decimate radio stations facing the worst advertising recession since the Great Depression.”

The Local Radio Freedom Act (H. Con. Res. 49), unveiled in February at a Capitol Hill event hosted by the Free Radio Alliance, was introduced by Reps. Gene Green (TX-29) and Mike Conaway (TX-11). The resolution counters legislation supported by the RIAA, which would levy a new fee on local radio stations for music aired free to listeners. An identical resolution was introduced earlier last month in the Senate (S. Con. Res. 14).

15 additional lawmakers have signed on to a bipartisan U.S. House of Representatives resolution opposing the introduction of “any new performance fee, tax, royalty, or other charge” on local radio stations. The growing chorus of Congressional support for The Local Radio Freedom Act, which opposes an effort led by the RIAA, now stands at 173.