In the continuing effort to slim America down, there is now legislation pending in Congress that would remove the tax deduction for advertising “unhealthy food products to children.” The bill is the brainchild of Rep. Rosa DeLauro from Connecticut.
Currently, money spent on marketing and advertising is a deductible business expense. DeLauro’s bill doesn’t touch the general concept, it just limits the scope depending on the content of the advertising. Cigarette advertising has been banned since 1970. So it could be worse for the food industry.
Of course, the junk food legislation faces a definitional challenge that was not really in play with the cigarette advertising ban. A cigarette is pretty much a cigarette (e-cigarettes notwithstanding) but what exactly is “unhealthy food?” That probably depends on who you talk to, and whether they’re a vegan.
The uncertainty, along with what will no doubt be an intense lobbying effort may very well doom this legislation. But for now, enjoy those Snickers commercials while you still can.