As some of you know, I’m a member of Ad 2 Tampa Bay, which is directly affiliated with the AAF (American Advertising Federation). This year, I had the opportunity to go to the annual Rally in Tally for the 4th District. Four of us from our local Ad 2 chapter drove up to Tallahassee to talk to our state senators and representatives about the advertising industry and how important it is to Florida’s economy. We set various appointments; which, surprisingly didn’t take very long to meet with each person.
Since there was no specific bill to talk about to our reps to vote down, we mostly went to say “Thank you!” We discussed how important advertising fuels Florida’s economy. It is estimated that advertising is responsible for 20 percent of our total economic activity in Florida, and about 15 percent of our Florida workforce depends on advertising. So we shared our thanks for not taxing advertising or making new regulations.
As a group we told them our thanks and gave support for a new House Bill 697 which is a tax incentive for the film and entertainment industry here in Florida. And also House Bill 867 – New laws for new media! Which will re-write our current law on how politicians advertise, specifically for social media. I personally did not agree with HB 697, since I don’t think the government should be “picking winner and losers” by giving tax breaks to some but not others.
All in all, it was a great experience not only to meet with our local representatives and senators, but also to meet the great people in the 4th District of the AAF (the rest of the Ad 2 and AAF peeps in Florida). I also sat on the floor of the Senate, in one of their chairs, and went into the senate chamber – tour led by our very own, Victor Crist, past president of Ad 2 Tampa Bay!
I think it was an important thing for me to get involved in. After all, if we don’t speak up and let them know we’re here, they’ll run right over us! We need to make sure that advertising services remain tax free so we can fuel our economy and most important – so I can continue doing what I love!