Ad Deductibility Under Threat from Kucinich, Franken Proposals

We have learned that Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich plans soon to introduce legislation to eliminate the tax deduction for certain food advertising directed to children.

This comes on top of the legislation introduced on October 8th by Senators Al Franken (D-MN), Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) to disallow the deduction for DTC prescription drug advertising and promotion expenses.  They intend to try to move that bill as part of the Senate's consideration of health care reform.

The tax deduction for advertising costs is the number one bottom line issue for the entire marketing community.  In addition to product-specific attacks on food and pharmaceutical advertising, we face a serious threat of an across-the-board attack on the tax deductibility of all advertising expenditures as the Congress looks for revenue to fund various programs.

We need your help to protect the deductibility of all marketing costs.  It would be very helpful if you would contact the members of Congress where you have employees or operations to express your opposition to any restriction on the deduction for advertising costs for any product or service.  If we don't oppose attacks on product-specific categories, we will face increasing pressures across the board.  As Benjamin Franklin said, "we must all hang together or most assuredly we will all hang separately."

ANA is working with all other marketing and media associations to let Congress know that we stand united in opposition to any attack on ad deductibility, on an across the board or product specific basis.  It is critical that members also hear directly from the companies that provide jobs in their states and districts.

We will provide more information on the Kucinich legislation on food advertising deductibility as well as Senator Franken's bill as it becomes available.

If you have any questions about this matter, please contact Dan Jaffe ( or Keith Scarborough ( in ANA's Washington, DC office at (202) 296-1883.  Please let us know of any feedback you get from these contacts.