AAF Condemns Proposal to Transfer Tobacco Advertising Jurisdiction to the FDA

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The American Advertising Federation today strongly condemned the advertising regulation proposals in the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act being marked up in the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

"While the goals of the bill may be admirable," said Clark Rector, AAF senior vice president, government affairs, "the legislation gives the wrong federal agency illegal and ineffective authority over tobacco advertising."

The measure would transfer jurisdiction over tobacco advertising from the Federal Trade Commission to the Food and Drug Administration. It would also authorize unprecedented and unconstitutional restrictions on advertising such as prohibiting colors and pictures and mandating even greater portions of an advertisement be given over to government-mandated warnings.

As much as critics may dislike tobacco advertising, it is still protected by the U.S. Constitution. "The First Amendment was designed to protect speech that some may not like," said Rector, "If it only protects what lawmakers deem it OK to hear, then the First Amendment is pretty worthless."

The AAF strongly believes authority over tobacco advertising should remain with the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC has years of experience effectively regulating advertising and examining claims. While the FDA has many areas of expertise, evaluating advertising and consumer perceptions are not among them.

For more information, please contact Clark Rector at crector@aaf.org or (202) 898-0089.

– end –

The American Advertising Federation (AAF), headquartered in Washington, D.C., acts as the "Unifying Voice for Advertising." The AAF is the oldest national advertising trade association, representing 40,000 professionals in the advertising industry. The AAF has a national network of 200 ad clubs located in ad communities across the country. Through its 225 college chapters, the AAF provides 7,500 advertising students with real-world case studies and recruitment connections to corporate America. The AAF also has nearly 100 blue-chip corporate members that are advertisers, agencies and media companies, comprising the nation's leading brands and corporations. For more information, visit the AAF's Web site at www.aaf.org.