Tax Reform: Draft Letter Against Advertising Tax

Please use this draft letter for advocating no change to the tax treatment of advertising in the proposed tax reform bill. This letter uses text from letters signed by House and Senate members (sent to both the House Speaker and the Senate Majority and Minority leaders) and copy to make it more appropriate from a business owner’s perspective.

Dear _____________________,

The 115 th Congress holds the promise of streamlining the corporate tax code in order to achieve lower rates for America’s businesses and eliminate tax loopholes and special preferences. We vigorously support these efforts to boost job creation, grow wages and strengthen the economy. The potential
for strengthening the economy would be jeopardized by any proposal that imposes an advertising tax on our nation’s manufacturing, retail and service industries.

In our system we tax profits. By definition, a profit is the difference between revenue and costs. Advertising, as a reoccurring cost of doing business, is and should remain to be, accorded the same treatment as all other regularly occurring business expenses, such as employee wages, rent and
utilities. Any measure that would tax advertising, and therefore make it more expensive, cannot be justified as a matter of tax or economic policy.

America relies on advertising to inform potential customers, generate sales and support workers across our nation. A study by the economic consulting firm IHS Economics and Country Risk found that in 2014, advertising supported 20 million U.S. jobs and $5.8 trillion in U. S. sales. Significantly, the
study showed that every dollar of advertising spending generates $19 million of economic activity, and that advertising contributes to 19 percent of the nation’s GDP. Advertising is also responsible for supporting the high-quality news, information and entertainment that is a cornerstone of our democracy and upon which every American relies.

Let there be no doubt that any change to the current tax treatment of advertising as a deductible and immediate business expense, will negatively and significantly impact businesses across the nation and will have long term damaging effects on millions of U.S. workers and consumers.

Thank you for your efforts in considering the challenges of fixing our country’s tax code and strengthening America’s ability to compete economically around the globe. I ask that any changes in our tax system be meaningful, economically sound, and do not threaten the impacts of advertising jobs and the economy.

Respectfully,
Name
Business
Address

AAF Alert – Tax Reform Update

Clark Rector, Jr., Executive Vice President of Government Affairs

AAF Alert – Tax Reform Update

House Republicans have released their comprehensive tax reform plan, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The bill as introduced did not include any limitations on the deduction for advertising expenses. While this is very good news for consumers and the advertising industry, the threat is not over.

The House Ways and Means Committee will mark up the bill during the week of November 6. During that process any member of the committee could introduce an amendment to limit the advertising deduction in order to raise money for other purposes. We have no indication at this time that any member is planning on doing so.

The Senate Finance Committee is writing its own version of tax reform and scheduled to release it soon. Because this committee is writing its own bill, the advertising deduction is at risk here also.

bi-partisan letter defending the advertising deduction has been sent to the Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate and the Finance Committee. The letter was authored by Senators John Boozman, R-Ark. and Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc. and signed by thirteen of their colleagues. The letter is similar to the Engel-Yoder letter sent last spring to House and Ways and Means Committee leaders signed by 241 members of the House of Representatives.

AAF’s grassroots efforts are working. Many members of the House and Ways and Means Committee cited the strong response from the advertising industry in their home districts as part of the reason advertising maintained its full deduction in the reform proposal.

The advertising industry must stay vigilant. I urge all AAF members to contact theirSenators and urge them to oppose any effort to limit the full deduction for advertising expenses. If your Senator or Representative signed either the Boozman-Baldwin orEngel-Yoder letters I encourage you to contact their offices and thank them for supporting the advertising industry. These elected officials took a stand on our industry’s behalf and their support should be acknowledged.

Thank you to everyone who has already contacted their Senators and Representatives. Please circulate this alert to other members of your company and/or local advertising federation. Keep up the good work and do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or comments.
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The AAF Government Report is available to all members of the AAF. If you are interested in receiving an emailed copy, please email government@aaf.org.

If you are interested in receiving the AAF SmartBrief, an opt-in news service, please visit www.smartbrief.com/aaf. The AAF SmartBrief condenses advertising industry news from dozens of media sources into a succinct, easy to read email.

Go to the AAF’s Advocacy webpage.

Government Relations: Advertising Deductibility

AAF Colleague:

Thank you to everyone who contacted their Representatives and Senators after my previous alert on tax reform. I am writing to once again ask for your help.

Senators John Boozman, R-Ark. and Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc. have co-authored a bipartisan letter to the Senate leaders urging them to maintain the tax treatment of advertising as a normal and necessary business expense fully deductible in the year it is incurred. The text of the letter is below. It is similar to the Engle-Yoder letter sent to House leadership last fall and signed by 124 members of the House of Representatives.

Senators Baldwin and Boozman are soliciting signatures from other Senators for the letter. Please contact your Senators and ask them to sign the Boozman-Baldwin letter on advertising deductibility. Let them know it is important to you and your business that the tax treatment of advertising remain unchanged. The more signatures on the letter, the stronger our position will be in the Senate. Contact information for all Senators can be found here.

I would appreciate hearing of any responses you get from either of your Senators. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments, and thank you for your continued help on this important issue.

Sincerely,

Clark Rector
Executive Vice President-Government Affairs
American Advertising Federation
crector@aaf.org
202-898-0089
Follow me on Twitter @ClarkRector1

Text of the Boozman-Baldwin letter:

Dear Leaders McConnell and Schumer:

This Congress, we have the opportunity to enact much-needed, meaningful tax reform. As we work with you on these efforts to bolster economic growth, close loopholes, and raise the incomes of working Americans, we respectfully request that you maintain the current tax treatment of advertising as a fully and immediately deductible business expense.

For the life of the tax code, advertising has been treated the same as all other regularly occurring business expenses, such as employee wages, rent, utilities, and office supplies. Any measure that would tax advertising – and therefore make it more expensive – cannot be justified as a matter of tax or economic policy. Moreover, such a proposal would run counter to a major goal of tax reform we can all agree on – simplifying the tax code.

Businesses across the country rely on advertising and promotional products to inform potential customers, generate sales, and support workers across our nation. According to a 2014 study by IHS Economics and Country Risk, advertising supports 20 million U.S. jobs and $5.8 trillion in U.S. activity. That advertising contributes to 19 percent of our nation’s GDP and is responsible for supporting the high-quality news and information we all rely on.

As the Senate continues to work towards tax reform, we ask that you continue to support local businesses and recognize the importance of advertising on jobs and the economy.

Event Wrap-Up: Morgan Richards of Cox Automotive

We were privileged to have Morgan Richards, Senior Manager of Research at Cox Automotive join us for our club luncheon on September 21. Cox Automotive holds more than 20 companies, the two most recognizable of which are Kelly Blue Book and AutoTrader, the group’s only consumer-facing organizations. Cox Automotive primarily provides services and solutions to the auto industry, with around 90% of their business serving automotive dealerships.

Morgan led AAF NETN through a stripped-down, layperson’s version of what can quickly become a data-heavy quagmire. As with most sectors of the marketing world, digital research and data capabilities are turning the car-buying process on its head.

In research done by Cox Automotive,  only 17 out of 4,002 respondents indicated that they were satisfied with the current process for buying a car. Time spent at the dealership was one of the biggest pain points in the process, with satisfaction declining sharply after shoppers had spent more than 90 minutes at a dealership. To add to the misery, nearly 50% of the time spent at the dealership is spent on the most unpleasant parts of the process: financing and paperwork.

So is the answer online car shopping? Cox found that even in the brave new world of 2017, only 21% of respondents were ready for click-to-buy car shopping. But, 87% said they were willing to move some part of the process online.

Morgan highlighted three companies that Cox serves who are taking a different approach:

  • Tesla: The process for buying Elon Musk’s electric automobiles is very different. Tesla’s model is direct-to-consumer, eschewing dealerships for ‘experiential stores’  in the vein of Apple stores. Customers can get hands-on experience with the car at these stores and, with Tesla’s fixed pricing model, know exactly what they’ll pay.
  • CarVana: With car vending machines—yes, you read that correctly—in Atlanta, Houston, and Nashville, Carvana takes shopping for used cars fully online. Customers pick out their car online, finance and sign papers online, and can choose to have their car delivered or visit one of the vending machines, and watch their new car come down the lift.
  • Tred: Tred found a niche in the peer-to-peer car buying space. From their base in the Pacific Northwest, Tred is taking out the middle men (aka: dealerships) and easing the pain of buying and selling your car your way.
One of the most exciting developments Morgan presented, was the rapid evolution of autonomous vehicles. Ranging from your dad’s old ’73 Nova all the way to fully self-driving cars that don’t need no stinking humans, cars fall along a five-point spectrum of autonomy. And, Cox has found that assuming those fully self-sufficient, self-driving cars are available, by 2020, 59% of consumers would consider stepping up the level of autonomy in their car.

Cox also estimates that by 2034, the balance of miles driven by individual car owners versus miles driven by fleet cars will shift in favor of fleet cars. More autonomy means more efficient routes, more cost-effective ride-share models, and fewer people owning their own cars!

The future of the car buying process is evolving to eliminate the worst parts of the process, put power back in the hands of individual consumers, and use the burgeoning tech of autonomous vehicles to get us where we need to go.

Our thanks to Morgan Richards and Cox Automotive for sharing this fantastic presentation with us!

Event Wrap-Up: Mitch West of Nexstar Media Group

Mitchell West, Regional Director of Nexstar Media Group, spoke to the club today about digital content marketing trends, mobile marketing, the Internet of Things, and much more. To listen to the full audio from today’s program or download the speaker’s presentation, click play below.

Huge thanks to everyone who contributed to our animal advocacy public service initiative by bringing supplies for SBK/Petworks!
Mark your calendars for September 21, when Morgan Richards from Cox Automotive will come speak to us about the future of digital retailing/e-commerce.

Full Audio Recording

Here’s a full audio recording of the meeting for anyone who was unable to attend:

 

Slide Deck

Download the Slide Deck: 2017 Mega Marketing Trends-Tri Cities

Marketing Stats

  • 5.7 hours per day spent on a smartphone or mobile device
  • 16.8 billion monthly searches
  • 207.2 million total monthly smartphone users
  • Content Marketing is the top 3 for reach for the past 3 years
  • Video content – 1.5-3 minutes is the optimal length for engagement

Photo Gallery

Job Opening – Account Executive

Account Executive Opportunity

The Business Journal of Tri-Cities Tennessee/Virginia

We are seeking a dynamic professional to join the sales team of the region’s leading business-to-business publication, The Business Journal of Tri-Cities TN/VA. This is a base plus commission position and is a great fit for a seasoned business professional with a high level of verbal, written and consultative sales skills. For consideration please email a cover letter, resume and salary history to: Bill Derby, Publisher at bderby@bjournal.com.

The Business Journal of Tri-Cities TN/VA is an equal opportunity employer. The company considers applicants for all positions without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, marital status, disability, veteran status or sexual orientation as protected by applicable city, state or federal law.

Event Wrap-Up: AAF 101

Today, in our first program of the fiscal year, we inducted our 2017-2018 board (pictured above). We also conducted an AAF 101 panel. Here are some of the FAQs our veterans answered for the group today:

What are the benefits of AAF at the local and national levels?

Personal benefits:
By getting involved with the club (i.e., attending programs, joining committees, attending the American Advertising Awards, joining the board) you will have ample opportunity for education, networking, leadership development, and personal and professional recognition. Most members of the board have made lifelong friends and professional connections through the club – not just on the local level, but throughout the region and the country.

Members also receive exclusive discounts from many companies, including AdWeek, FedEx, Experian, Hertz, Nationwide, Office Depot, and more.

Industry benefits:
AAF National is active in government relations relating to the advertising industry. Elected officers at all levels of the club (local, district, and national) keep a finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the government that could directly or indirectly affect our industry and actively work to protect the integrity and best interest of the industry. At all levels of the club, there are also initiatives in diversity, education, public service, and government that have influence on members and nonmembers across the country.

What is District 7?

The American Advertising Federation is a national organization. Our local club is AAF Northeast Tennessee. We are part of a five-state district (Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi). There are 15 total districts and ours is District 7, which includes 20 clubs from those five states. As part of AAF NETN, you are also part of District 7 and AAF National.

How can I “sell” the value of AAF to my employer?

AAF provides leadership opportunities. Serving on the board or initiative teams helps develop leadership skills that directly translate to the personal and professional lives of members.

AAF provides continuing education. Through monthly luncheons, the club brings speakers from all over the country to speak on a variety of topics.

AAF is a fantastic opportunity to identify talent to fill open jobs. It’s also a great way to gain exposure for your business, through both membership and club sponsorship.

What are the responsibilities of board members?

Commit to one year of service. Attend monthly board meetings. Take ownership of your role and develop and execute strategies to support your initiative(s). Recruit and communicate with committee members to help you execute your initiative(s).

What are AAF conferences like?

AAF District 7 conferences are fun and education, and they always include a good mix of professional development and club development. They’re a great way to gain exposure to the club, while also networking with members from throughout the district.

AAF National conference is the same concept, but all districts are included. You get to see top caliber work from around the country at the National American Advertising Awards. You will be inspired by the Mosaic diversity panels. And you will make friends from ad clubs throughout the US.

How can I get more involved?

Contact us at info@aafnetn.com. We’re always on the lookout for new committee members and board members!

What is this year’s public service initiative?

We are supporting Tri-Cities animal welfare organizations – shelters, humane societies, etc. At today’s luncheon, we accepted canned dog and cat food, per the request of a local shelter. We’ll be doing a variety of activities at programs throughout the year to support this cause.

How do the American Advertising Awards work?

Our ADDYs planning committee meets for several months before the event to plan and execute. We divide responsibilities based on skill set and interest and meet in the evenings to check in and make sure things are getting done.

For ADDYs judging, we bring in three judges from outside our district. They judge each piece on a scale of 1-100. Entries are not judged against each other; each entry is judged on a set of criteria. The top tier percentages are awarded gold and silver, then winners move on to district and national competitions.

There is much more to learn about the AAF, but this is a little to get you started. Have more questions? Submit them to info@aafnetn.com.

Or attend our next luncheon and ask in person:
Date: August 3
Time: 11:30-1:00
Speaker: Mitchell West, WJHL regional
Location: Gray Fossil Site

Job Opening – Director of Public Relations

Creative Energy is a full-service advertising, digital and public relations firm with a 25- year history of leadership. The company specializes in the food, building materials, financial and tourism industries.

We are in search of a public relations leader with a history of great storytelling in print, digital, social and trade environments.

The director of public relations is responsible for developing, writing and maintaining relationships with various publications editors, influential bloggers and client industry web publishers to facilitate advantageous placement of articles and releases in the name of the agency’s clients. The applicant should be familiar with, and have access to, a wide variety of research on attitudes and public opinions.

Reports to the president

Responsibilities:

  • “Tells the organization’s story” using all appropriate media and communication channels.
  • Generates and promotes ideas aimed at gaining support for client goals and policies from its target audiences.
  • Serves as an advocate for client businesses; builds and maintains positive relationships with the public.
  • Handles organizational functions such as media, community, consumer, and governmental relations; political campaigns; interest-group representation; conflict mediation; or employee and investor relations for designated accounts and/or the agency.
  • Understands the attitudes and concerns of consumers, employees, and various other groups; keeps management aware of public attitudes and concerns of all groups and organizations with which the client must deal.
  • Establishes and maintains cooperative relationships with representatives of community, consumer, employee, and public interest groups and with representatives from print, broadcast and web journalism.
  • Informs the general public, interest groups, and stockholders of an organization’s policies, activities, and accomplishments.
  • Directs the creation and implementation of all public relations campaigns, programs and publicity activities for the agency and its clients.
  • Writes or coordinates the writing and production of all publicity stories.
  • Meets weekly with media director and account services to coordinate media and publicity placement for maximum agency and client benefit
  • Determines when and where all PR releases will be sent for placement.
  • Works with account service personnel to develop publicity ideas for clients one month prior to the date of publication.
  • Meets once a month, or as needed, with senior management to update them on department status and make any changes deemed necessary.
  • Maintains current computer skills related to public relations department daily functions; ensures all public relations team members do the same.
  • Authorizes department computer hardware and software purchase requisitions and notifies the controller/business manager. Authorizes subscriptions to newswire services and clipping service bureaus.

 

Experience

The Director of Public Relations should have a minimum of five years experience in the development and management of public relations within either a corporate or agency environment. The ideal candidate will be a member of the PRSA and an active member of community or civic organizations.

 

Salary

Salary will be commensurate with experience and proven capabilities in communications skills. Creative Energy offers generous vacations and benefits including health, dental, vision and life insurance as well as 401(k).

 

The Creative Energy Group, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer.

Send resume to:ttreadway@cenergy.com

 

 

 

Event Wrap Up: Pal’s CEO Thom Crosby

Thank you to Pal’s for hosting our March 24th lunch at their corporate headquarters in Kingsport! A big thank you also goes out to Tony and Teresa Treadway of Creative Energy for convincing Thom to host. Pal’s has been a Creative Energy client for over 25 years – a tremendous partnership that’s very different from most food/agency relationships.

Pal’s opened their first location in Kingsport in 1956. After a bit of espionage by their founder, Fred “Pal” Barger, and a chance meeting with McDonald’s founders Ray Kroc and Fred Turner, Pal’s has become the #2 restaraunt in the Tri-Cities and a unique cultural icon for our region.

The restaurant industry as a whole has a turnover rate of about 60%, but Pal’s have maintained a rate of only 18% through their unique training methods and their focus on Performance Excellence. They have 29 stores, owning all the land and buildings with no debts owed to anyone. Their leadership program (Pal’s BEI) has trained business leaders all over the globe from companies like Coca-Cola, 3M, NASA, American Greetings, and more. They teach their tried-and-true 8 step business excellence model, and Thom went through each of those steps with us:

  1. We only work on high value problems.
  2. Every standard is stated as a gap. We’re here, want to be there, how to we get there?
  3. Root cause analysis: ask “Why?” 3 to 5 times to find out the real problem. Any problem is really either a management, equipment, or process design problem.
  4. Create a pool of solutions and pick the best one.
  5. Implement
  6. Verify
  7. Once we know it works, we standardize it and create documents and training around this new standard.
  8. We then market it to everyone in the company.

Videos

 

 

Photo Gallery

 

Survey

If you were in attendance at this event, please tell us how we did so we can continue to improve:

2016 – 2017 Scholarships Awarded

The American Advertising Federation of Northeast Tennessee (AAF-NETN) has awarded academic scholarships for the first time, to Milligan student Gloria Vazquez and East Tennessee State University (ETSU) student Olivia Page. The awards were announced by AAF-NETN’s education co-chairs: Dr. Carrie Swanay, chair of Milligan College performing, visual, and communicative arts; and Art Brown, Milligan College assistant professor of graphic design. The scholarships are given for the 2016-2017 academic year.

“We’re excited about the new scholarship initiative offered by our local chapter,” Swanay said. “In addition to the scholarship awards, each student will receive a free one-year membership to AAF-NETN. This gives students the opportunity to network and will help them get to know local industry professionals.”

Gloria-VazquezVazquez, a sophomore at Milligan College, is pursuing a career in graphic design. “I have always enjoyed creating art since I could hold a pencil,” Vazquez said. “It made my day when I would show friends and family a sketch, and they would be surprised with what I had drawn. Graphic design is a career that communicates a message through the arts, and I want to create designs that could change the world.”

The first of her family to attend college, Vazquez sees this as a real opportunity. “This scholarship will greatly help me to continue my work as a graphic designer and meet designers in this region,” she said. “Since the scholarship was determined by the quality and uniqueness of the student’s online portfolio, I was nervous about developing mine for the first time. When I knew that I had impressed the AAF-NETN panel, it gave me more confidence toward my work.”

Olivia-PagePage, a junior at ETSU, is pursuing her degree in media and communications, with a concentration in advertising and public relations.

“I chose the field of media and communications because of the impact it can make on people’s lives,” Page said. “I love to engage and be present with the people around me, and I believe communications can provide an opportunity to do that. Whether working for a corporation’s next campaign or creating a press release for a new children’s hospital unveiling, there is always a new challenge in front of you to make a difference in the piece you are working on.

“I realized early that this field is the perfect blend of creativity and organization,” Page added. “That is a big reason why I enjoy it so much. These characteristics are what really led me to this field.” Upon graduation, Page plans to pursue graduate school and earn her master’s degree.

“Our local club is proud to provide deserving students with additional resources to further their education in our industry,” says club president, Samara Bolling, who is the director of integrated marketing and insights for Ntara. “Our affiliation with area colleges and faculty allows us to stay involved and see new young professionals enter the field of advertising.”

Dr. Stephen Marshall, chair of the ETSU department of media and communication, agreed. “AAF-NETN has always been amazing and supportive of student outcomes,” Marshall said. “I don’t know another group that is more focused on education.”

AAF-NETN meets monthly to provide speakers and workshops as continuing education for local professional members and the community.