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FOCUS TURNS TO FUTURE CLINTON NOMINEES;MARKETERS MAY FACE MORE PRO-REGULATORY LEANINGS

By Published on .

The re-election of President Clinton and the Republicans' continued grip on Congress have the marketing industry keeping an eye on regulatory and tax matters.

American Advertising Federation President Wally Snyder said a second Clinton term gives the president the opportunity to appoint additional members to the Federal Communications Commission, Federal Trade Commission and U.S. Supreme Court.

FCC, FTC VACANCIES

"All five slots on the FCC open up in the next three years and you will have three positions on the FTC," Mr. Snyder said. "You could be seeing more pro-regulatory appointments, and it's there where the election could have one of its biggest impacts."

The only readily apparent change in Congress for marketers is the departure of Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee Chairman Larry Pressler (R., S.D.), who lost his bid for re-election. Sen. Pressler, who also headed the Communications Subcommittee that dealt with TV and telecommunications issues, is expected to be replaced by Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.).

But ad groups said they don't expect major changes in policy when Sen. McCain takes over. In fact, they expect little change at all from the new Congress.

"The status is quo and for that we all are grateful," said Hal Shoup, exec VP at the American Association of Advertising Agencies. "The best thing is there are no surprises."

CONCERN OVER DEDUCTIBILITY

There are concerns, though, about advertising deductibility, since Republican leaders have said they would like to re-examine the tax system.

"Several of the key leadership Republicans feel strongly that it's time to look at a major tax overhaul," said Dan Jaffe, exec VP, Association of National Advertisers. "Once it starts, major categories are going to get looks."

Added Mr. Shoup: "We have to be on guard to make sure that deductibility does not come into play. In the [current] Congress, we saw some of these issues raised by Republicans. It is too big a piece of money to avoid."

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