February 27, 2008

Legislative Activity

To: AAF Members

From: Clark Rector, senior vice president – government affairs
Jeff Perlman, executive vice president – government affairs

Re: Consumer Products Safety Commission

The U.S. House and Senate are currently considering legislation to “modernize” the Consumer Products Safety Commission. The bills are wide-ranging, but the version being considered in the Senate includes provisions that are especially problematic for advertising.

The Senate bill calls for any advertisement for a toy, game, balloon, small ball or marble that requires a cautionary statement to include the statement in or immediately adjacent to the ad.

The House passed bill would require the entire cautionary statement in any ad that provides a direct means to purchase the toy—such as Internet or catalog advertising.

The Senate bill would especially place undue burdens on advertising by compelling inclusion of the warning language in all advertisements. In addition, the mandated speech would likely violate the First Amendment guarantees of commercial free speech. Warning language on packaging is appropriate and sufficient.

Timing is uncertain, but the Senate could consider the bill as soon as next week. Senators need to hear from the industry that this provision must be deleted. Contact information for your senators can be found here .

The AAF is coordinating opposition efforts with the National Association of Manufacturers and other industry groups. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any comments or questions.