Coalition Calls on Senators to Reject Tax on Advertising

Dec. 16, 2013 – Today the Coalition for Healthcare Communication sent a letter to U.S. Senators and Members of the House Ways and Means Committee sharing its concerns about the adverse impact a tax on advertising would have on the nation’s economy and asking them to reject a recent proposal from the Senate Finance Committee that would dramatically change current tax deductions for advertising and marketing costs. 

“Although we understand that the Finance Committee is trying to increase revenues by changing the tax treatment of these costs – which currently are able to be deducted in the year they are spent – we want Congress to understand that other economic losses would result from the proposal that is on the table,” said Coalition Executive Director John Kamp. “There is no question that advertising and marketing drive our nation’s economy, and if the proposal in question were to move forward, the economy would most certainly suffer as companies cut those functions to accommodate the changed tax situation,” he noted. 

“A proposal from the Senate Finance Committee would severely undercut the economic power of advertising to generate sales and support jobs as well as the ability of medical companies to effectively communicate critical information to doctors and patients,” the Coalition letter states. Citing estimates from IHS Global Insight, the Coalition asserts that advertising accounts for $5.6 trillion of the $33.8 trillion in U.S. economic output and supports 21.1 million U.S. jobs.  

According to the Coalition, the Finance Committee proposal “would be the most sweeping change to the tax treatment of advertising costs in the 100-year history of the Tax Code.” Further, the Coalition states that the proposed tax on advertising “would push our economy down at a time when all of our businesses need to drive it forward.” 

The Coalition also points out that there is an important added benefit of the advertising and marketing that medical companies do: “Each day we use medical marketing to educate physicians and patients about critical developments and innovations in the medical community that are absolutely critical to efficient and effective patient care.”


Signatories to the letter are as follows: 

  • Matt Giegerich, Chair of the Executive Committee, Coalition for Healthcare Communication, Chairman and CEO, Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide
  • Nick Colucci, President and CEO, Publicis Healthcare Communication Group
  • Ryan Abbate, President, Pacific Communications
  • Jon Bigelow, President & CEO, KnowledgePoint360 Group
  • Sharon Callahan, CEO of LLNS, EVP of Omnicom Group
  • Dale Taylor, President  & CEO, AbelsonTaylor, Inc.
  • Martin Skelton, Ph.D., Managing Director, IPG Global Healthcare
  • Nancy Hill, President & CEO, American Association of Advertising Agencies
  • Michael Myers, Consultant
  • Donna Murphy, Global CEO, Havas Health
  • Mary Ann Greenberg, President, North America, Ashfield Commercial and Medical Services
  • John R. Puglisi, President  & CEO, Beacon Healthcare Communications
  • Stanley Woodland, President and CEO, Communications Media, Inc. and Compas, Inc.
  • Lee Maniscalco, Chairman  & CEO, Haymarket Media, Inc.
  • Jenny Day, President, Connect Healthcare Communications, Inc.
  • Donald J. M. Phillips, Principal and CEO, Vox Medica
  • Al Reicheg, Chief Development Officer, Qforma, Inc.
  • Brandon Pletsch, Owner, Radius Digital Science
  • Sally Shankland, CEO, UBM Connect
  • Ken Begasse Jr., Founder, CEO, Concentric Health Experience
  • Catherine Wolfe, President  & CEO, Wolters Kluwer Medical Research
  • David J. Schlanger, CEO, WebMD Health Corp.
  • Kenneth Sylvia, Vice President, Group Publisher, Advanstar Communications, Inc., Medical Communications Group
  • Andrew Willis, Co-founder, EVP and Chief Financial Officer, Crossix Solutions Inc.