January 26, 2006

Legislative Activity


January 26, 2006

The Honorable Eric Johnson
President Pro Tempore
Georgia State Senate
State Capitol Building
Atlanta, GA 30334

VIA E-MAIL

Dear Senator Johnson:

On behalf of the neatly 500 members of the undersigned Georgia advertising federations we are writing to ask you to oppose Senate Bill 425 which would mandate the creation of a registry designed to prevent businesses from sending inappropriate e-mails to minors.

While the purpose of the bill may be well intentioned, implementation raises a number of very troubling issues. First and foremost, a registry will actually increase the danger to children, not reduce it. The Federal Trade Commission has expressed "grave concerns" about such registries and has stated that "the possibility that such a list could fall into the hands of the Internet's most dangerous users, including pedophiles, is truly chilling."

A registry also raises serious First Amendment issues rising from the chilling effect it would have on marketers' communications with legitimate customers. Because marketers have no way of confirming the physical location of the owner of an e-mail address, even those with no good faith reason to believe any customers reside in Georgia are at risk of sanctions of they do not comply. Even if the registries were not more likely to hurt than help children, the cost and administrative burden on businesses far outweigh any benefit that could arise.

We respectfully request that you opposed Senate Bill 425. Thank you for your consideration of our views.

Sincerely,

Cathy Bartleson-Hilley
President, Advertising Federation of Columbus
Target Market Advertising
1501 13th Street Suite B
Columbus, GA 31901

Brent Cline
President, Augusta Advertising Federation
Phoenix Printing
1026 Fenwick Street
Augusta, GA 30901

Gail Eubanks
President, Savannah Advertising Federation
Savannah Technical
5717 White Bluff Road
Savannah, GA 31405

Andy Goldsmith
President, Creativity Atlanta: The Advertising and Creative Club
Marketing Strategy & Communications
2625 Caladium Drive
Atlanta, GA 30345

Jeff Snowden
President, Athens Advertising Club
Snowden Tatarski
480 E Broad Street, Suite 17
Athens, GA 30601