AAF Government Report

August 5, 2011

Clark Rector Jr., Executive Vice President – Government Affairs

Dwayne Fitzhugh, Federation Intern

Lawmakers Weigh In Against Food Advertising Restrictions

Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have expressed their displeasure over the Interagency Working Group’s proposed voluntary nutritional guides. Among the letters sent to top officials at the Federal Trade Commission, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Agriculture and the Center for Disease Control include one from 67 Republican members of the House of Representatives and another from 34 Democratic members. The IWG has given no indication when or what their next steps will be.

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Court Hears First Amendment Challenge

U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals recently heard a challenge to the commercial speech provisions of say the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. The challenge by much of the tobacco industry claims the law goes beyond what is permitted by the First Amendment to the Constitution by prohibiting truthful, non-misleading statements. AAF filed a brief in the case making the First Amendment case.

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Ad Volume Under Consideration

The Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act, enacted into law last December, limits the volume of advertisements to the same level as the surrounding programming. The law’s author Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., has written to the Federal Communications Commission urging the agency to apply the law to all cable, satellite and video distributors, not just broadcasters.

The American Cable Association, representing medium and small cable providers, has argued that its members should only be liable for advertising inserted by the cable companies, but not for any violations that occur simply through retransmission of broadcast programming.

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Government Report will return in September following the Congressional recess.

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