Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ad groups don't want FTC "on steroids."

In a story published April 22 in Ad Age, Rich Thomaselli reported the advertising industry is rallying in opposition of a provision in the Financial Reform Bill that could extend the power of the FTC to uncomfortable new levels.

The 4-A’s, the Direct Marketing Association and the AAF are among 30 groups that delivered a letter to the U.S. Senate and took out a full-page ad in the influential Capitol Hill newspaper, Roll Call, spearheading an effort to prevent the Federal Trade Commission from once again becoming the "nation's nanny."

The groups say a "hidden" provision in the already-passed House of Representatives' version of the Financial Reform Bill (H.R. 4173) would expand FTC power and restore the broad rule-making and enforcement authority the agency enjoyed prior to 1975, when Congress imposed restrictions on the FTC with the passage of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.

The ad industry groups and others believe the provision that would grant the FTC greater power over unfair and deceptive ad practices has no business in a financial reform bill. They fear heavy-handed tactics and an atmosphere where the FTC has too broad an authority over many different industries.

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