Event Wrap-Up: Clark Rector from AAF National on Advertising & Government Relations

Last Thursday, Clark Rector from AAF National came and gave us the rundown on how AAF lobbies in Washington DC for advertisers across the country. While government may not be the first thing you think of when you think of advertising, Clark showed us all just how much of our day to day lives are affected by his work.

Over his last thirty years in Washington DC, Clark has advocated for diversity and minorities in the advertising industry to make the industry as a whole more inclusive. In addition to that, his overall goal is to educate lawmakers at all levels about the benefits that advertising poses to the economy and job market. Representing the interests of all who work in advertising, AAF has done studies to show the positive economic impact that advertising has in our state, and even in our region directly. Clark told us that one dollar spent on advertising, creates nineteen dollars in economic impact.

“Advertising pushes the economy, and needs to be encouraged…” Rector said.

One of the biggest projects everyone has seen but not necessarily understood, is the AdChoice logo on most online ads. Clark explained that, “Most consumers, once they learn about what is happening [with targeted ads], they generally get more comfortable and don’t opt out…it’s a place where we’ve gotten ahead and educated consumers.” Defending the right to free speech and the right to advertise, Clark explained the difficulties the pharmaceutical industries face with scaring off potential patients with disclaimers. Another particularly difficult industry? Surprisingly, food. Advertising has recently been blamed for the obesity crisis in America, and part of AAF’s work has been defending the right of companies to advertise their product despite no correlation between obesity rates and advertising spend.