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Government Relations

Government Relations


AAF’s Government Affairs Committee is comprised of individuals with a interest and passion for government affairs and legislative issues surrounding the advertising industry. The committee meets monthly via conference call to discuss key legislation, supporting activities, and upcoming events. If you are interested in joining the committee, please contact Clark Rector.

Click the dates below for recent updates and activities.


Arkansas –
Michael Keesee
Louisiana – Susan Allain
Oklahoma – Randy Kemp
Texas – Elisa Rode

SEPTEMBER 30, 2019

SEPTEMBER 30, 2019

California Privacy

AAF, Advertising
Coalition Oppose DTC
Pricing Amendment

Government Report

Privacy Updates

The California legislature has adjourned for the year, meaning there will be no more opportunities to amend the California Consumer Privacy Act before it goes into effect on January 1, 2020. While this is a California law, it will have a nationwide impact as it has implications for any company that does business in that state.

The CCPA applies to all businesses in California that have gross revenues over $25,000,000; buys, sells or shares the personal information (PI) of 50,000 or more consumer, households, or devices; or derives 50% or more of its annual revenue from selling consumers’ personal information. The bill also grants consumers specific rights, including:

  • The right to be informed about a business’ practices regarding a consumers’ personal information and of the specific PI held by the business
  • The right to request that a business or services provider delete any PI held, except in certain circumstances
  • The right to direct a business that sells consumers’ PI to no longer sell their PI
  • A business cannot discriminate against a consumer for exercising any of these rights.

Many questions about the enforcement of the law will not be answered until the Attorney General issues regulations or guidance for businesses. The Attorney General’s office has released a Standardized Regulatory Impact Assessment which demonstrates the potential scope of the new law.

According to the document the law will cover between 15,643 and 570,066 businesses in California and the costs for businesses to comply with the regulations will be between $467 million and $16.454 billion over the next decade depending on the number of businesses impacted. The report does not consider the impact of the CCPA on businesses outside of California.

Before adjourning, the legislature passed legislation requiring “data brokers” businesses to register with the state Attorney General’s office. Data brokers are defined as businesses that “knowingly collects and sells to third parties the personal information of a consumer with whom the business does not have a direct relationship.”

AAF and our association partners opposed the legislation and have written a letter to California Governor Gavin Newsom asking him to veto it.  We are concerned in part that the definition of data brokers is overly broad and may include ad networks and other businesses not normally considered data brokers.

AAF continues to work with other members of Privacy for America to advocate for a federal privacy law that would protect consumers while allowing businesses to engage in responsible online data collection and use.



AAF, Advertising Coalition Oppose DTC Pricing Amendment

The Advertising Coalition, of which AAF is a founding member, sent a letter to the leaders of the Senate Appropriations Committee opposing a proposed amendment to the Labor and Health and Human Services Appropriations bill that would have required wholesale acquisition cost information for prescription drugs to be included in direct-to-consumer advertising of pharmaceuticals. The scheduled committee “mark-up” of the bill was postponed leaving no opportunity for the amendment to be introduced. Committee consideration of the bill has not been rescheduled as of this writing.

JULY 3, 2019

JULY 3, 2019

California Consumer
Privacy Act Update

Texas Enacts Privacy Law

Federal “Do Not Track”
Bill Introduced

AAF Supports Adequate
Funding for Census

HHS Requires DTC
Price Disclosure

California Consumer Privacy Act Update
California legislators continue to consider legislation to implement the California Consumer Privacy Act by the January 1, 2020, deadline. Concurrently, advertising industry representatives are working with lawmakers to ensure the final law and regulations will not unnecessarily hamper businesses ability to responsibly use data to help market products and services to California consumers.


The situation remains fluid with changes occurring on a seemingly daily basis. Legislative leaders hope to have all changes finalized before their summer recess begins on July 12, with final votes occurring when they return in August.


Texas Enacts Privacy Law
Prior to adjourning for the year, the Texas legislature passed legislation that strengthens notification requirements in the event of a data breach affecting sensitive personal information. The new law also creates the Texas Privacy Protection Advisory Council which is charged with studying the privacy laws in Texas and other jurisdictions and making recommendations about prospective changes to Texas law. AAF will monitor the actions of the Council once it has been formed and provide comments and take other action as appropriate.


Federal “Do Not Track” Bill Introduced
Multiple federal privacy bills have been introduced, including a recent one by Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., that would establish a Do Not Track registry for online data collection similar to the Federal Trade Commission’s Do Not Call list which allows people to say they do not want to receive telemarketing calls. The bill would allow consumers to opt out of companies collecting data beyond what is “necessary” for the services to run.


As has been reported in previous newsletters, AAF is supportive of the enactment of a national privacy standard. We joined in a letter to the Federal Trade Commission supporting the concept and have been participating in meetings of the Privacy for America Coalition, consisting of with many allied associations and companies, to flesh out the specifics of what a national privacy law might look like. In general, AAF and our allies support legislation that would

·       Protect consumers nationwide

·       Establish new prohibitions on certain data practices, including eligibility, discrimination, assisting and facilitating fraud, and sensitive data

·       Create a New Data Protection Bureau at the Federal Trade Commission

·       Grant enhanced rule-making authority to the FTC

·       Ensure responsible advertising practices

·       Require strong data security protections, and

·       Authorize strict penalties for violations.


AAF will continue to work with our industry members and partners to advocate for a strong national privacy law that protects both consumers and industry.


AAF Supports Adequate Funding for Census
Recognizing that a reliable demographic information about the U.S. population is critical for advertising and business, in addition to governmental representation and operations, the AAF has joined other leading business organizations on a letter to the leadership of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees asking for sufficient funding for the upcoming 2020 census.  Accurate information is essential so that advertisers can make informed decisions when allocating marketing resources.


HHS Requires DTC Price Disclosure
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has enacted a rule requiring that direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription medications include the whole acquisition cost (WAC or list price). Three pharmaceutical companies and the ANA have challenged the rule on free speech grounds. AAF shares the concerns that compelled speech violates the First Amendment. We also believe that the information is likely to cause confusion since few patients pay the list cost since the majority is covered by insurance or government health programs. The suit seeks a declaratory judgment invalidating the rule, which is due to go into effect in July. No matter the ruling of the initial court, an appeal by the losing side seems likely. AAF will considering weighing in with an amicus brief if and when such action is appropriate.