Congress should not pass legislation that hurts free, local broadcasting by modifying the tax laws to make advertising more expensive for businesses. Advertising is currently treated as an ordinary and necessary business expense - just like salaries, rent and utilities - under the U.S. tax code. This means a business can fully deduct the expense in the year it was incurred. Some in Congress have suggested changing the tax treatment of advertising for specific types of products, such as pharmaceuticals. This change would have a devastating impact on listeners and viewers of local radio and television stations that rely on advertising revenue to survive, raises significant First Amendment concerns and ignores the important consumer benefits that advertising provides.
For these reasons, all types of advertising should remain fully deductible as an ordinary and necessary business expense in the year it is incurred. Any legislation that discourages advertising would hurt small businesses, impact jobs and harm broadcasters' ability to serve their local communities.
1 Source: Woods and Poole Economics, "An Analysis of the Importance of Commercial Local Radio and Television Broadcasting to the United States Economy: 2017"
2 Source: FDA, Patient and Physician Attitudes and Behaviors Associated with DTC Promotion of Prescription Drugs - Summary of FDA Survey Research Results (Nov. 19, 2004) at 2, available at https://www.fda.gov/downloads/drugs/scienceresearch/researchareas/drugmarketingadvertisingandcommunicationsresearch/ucm152860.pdf.