CALIF. KILLS PROPOSAL TO LIMIT DEDUCTIBILITY

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Here is a rundown on marketing-related issues at the state and local level, as reported by the American Advertising Federation in cooperation with the American Association of Advertising Agencies and the Association of National Advertisers.

CALIFORNIA

State Sen. Gary Hart (D., Santa Barbara) last month tried unsuccessfully to resurrect a proposal to eliminate California's tax deduction for the advertising and promotion of tobacco products. The bill is now dead for the year unless procedural rules are waived. The AAF's California ad clubs, Four A's and ANA member Best Foods testified against the measure, along with the California Advertising Alliance.

MARYLAND

The Four A's and ANA filed a friend of the court brief with a U.S. court of appeals challenging the constitutionality of the alcohol advertising ban enacted earlier this year by the Baltimore City Council. The ordinance prohibits outdoor advertising except in stadiums and heavy industrial zones.

NEW YORK

A hearing was held in Suffolk County in June on a proposal to require a health warning poster to accompany all point-of-purchase tobacco advertising at retail establishments in the county. However, no vote was taken.

OHIO

The Cincinnati City Council passed a measure June 2 banning outdoor tobacco ads. The ordinance, signed by the mayor, was sponsored by Councilman Tom Luken, a former congressman who actively opposed tobacco advertising during his tenure on Capitol Hill. AAF VP-State Government Affairs Clark Rector, Ad Club of Cincinnati Legislative Chair Michael Hensley and Four A's Secretary-Treasurer William LaWarre all expressed opposition to the measure.

FLORIDA

Jacksonville council members introduced an ordinance prohibiting outdoor ads for tobacco and alcohol products. The proposal was referred back to committee after receiving little support before the full City Council.

WASHINGTON, D.C.

The Washington Metro Transit Authority on June 9 unanimously adopted a resolution to phase out tobacco and alcohol ads on all system rail cars and buses by May 1, 1999. In a related development, the City Council Public Works & Environment Committee had a hearing June 30 on a proposal to ban on-site window signs advertising alcohol and tobacco. Although most other outdoor ads are exempt from the proposal, supporters are urging that its scope be broadened. No vote has been taken and no further action is scheduled. Also, the American Bar Association's Commission on Lawyer Advertising held a hearing June 24 to consider a number of proposals to restrict lawyer advertising on the state level. Burt Neuborne, professor of law at New York University, testified against such restrictions on behalf of the ANA, Four A's and the National Association of Broadcasters. Written testimony was submitted by the AAF.

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