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Sen. Franken Ad Tax Proposal May Be Offered as Senate Considers Health Care Bill

We need your immediate assistance to protect the deductibility of marketing costs under the federal tax code.

The U.S. Senate has begun debate on the health care reform bill developed by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV).  On October 8th, Senator Al Franken (D-MN) and cosponsors Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) introduced a bill (S.1763) entitled "Protecting Americans from Drug Marketing Act," which would disallow the deduction for DTC prescription drug advertising and promotional expenses.  Senators Mark Begich (D-AK) and Tom Udall (D-NM) have since joined as cosponsors.  These Senators have stated that they plan to offer their bill as an amendment to the health care bill on the Senate floor.  We have sent a letter to the entire Senate describing why taxing DTC ads is a bad idea. 

While the immediate target is the pharmaceutical industry, this proposal raises very serious threats for the deductibility of marketing costs across the board or for other products and services.  Therefore, we need a strong industry-wide response to this threat.

It would be very helpful if your company could immediately contact the members of the United States Senate where you have significant operations or employees to urge them to oppose any restriction on the deduction for marketing costs for any product or service.  Contact information is available at http://www.senate.gov/

Here are some talking points you may want to use in your contacts.

It is critical that you make these contacts immediately.  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.

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

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