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Ad Groups Oppose Advertising Ban in Education Funding Bill

The Advertising Coalition (TAC), of which ANA is a founding member, has urged the United States Senate to oppose a provision that would prohibit colleges and universities which receive federal education funding from spending those federal dollars on any marketing or advertising for their programs. That provision is contained in the FY2013 Labor, Health and Human Services appropriations bill that was recently approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee.

In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, TAC stated that by barring all colleges from using any federal funds for marketing, the provision “would restrict constitutionally protected commercial speech, while failing to correct the asserted problem that certain for-profit colleges and universities encourage students to enroll using government supported tuition without delivering the promised education program."

While we understand that some in the Congress have concerns about the marketing practices of some for-profit colleges and universities, this provision is overly broad.  The U.S. Supreme Court has made it clear that regulating speech must be a last – not first— resort.  

If you have any questions, you can reach Dan Jaffe in ANA's Washington office at 202-296-2359 or at djaffe@ana.net.

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