DTC Implications Likely as Waxman Targets Dingell

4A's Prepares for 'Immediate Scrutiny'

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WASHINGTON (AdAge.com) -- Tuesday's Democratic congressional win is kicking off a battle among two leaders of the House of Representatives for a top committee post with potentially big TV advertising implications.

U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has announced he intends to challenge U.S. Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., for chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

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Mr. Dingell is the dean of the House and its longest-serving member, having been in office since 1955.

While both Mr. Dingell and Mr. Waxman have questioned the merits of direct-to-consumer drug advertising, it is Mr. Waxman who has been the most proactive in trying to limit it.

He offered legislation two years ago to impose a moratorium of several years on advertising for any new drug, and he's also called for limits on advertising for tobacco products. Advertising groups claim his proposals would violate the First Amendment.

"If Rep. Waxman does become chair, we have to be prepared for immediate scrutiny on FDA matters," said Adonis Hoffman, general counsel of the American Association of Advertising Agencies. "DTC becomes front and center."
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