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  2d Session
                                S. 2416

To ensure that advertising campaigns paid for by the Federal Government 
                 are unbiased, and for other purposes.



                              May 13, 2004

  Mr. Nelson of Florida introduced the following bill; which was read 
      twice and referred to the Committee on Governmental Affairs


                                 A BILL

To ensure that advertising campaigns paid for by the Federal Government 
                 are unbiased, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,


    This Act may be cited as the ``Federal Advertising Reform Act of 


    (a) Findings.--Congress finds that--
            (1) a February 2004 Congressional Research Service report 
        states that the advertising industry estimates the Federal 
        Government spends over $1,000,000,000 each year on advertising;
            (2) under the rules and regulations that apply to the 
        Federal Government and advertising campaigns run by the Federal 
            (3) there are few restrictions on advertising by the 
        Federal Government; and
            (4) currently, there is no single agency charged with 
        investigating and overseeing advertising expenditures by 
        Federal agencies.
    (b) Purposes.--The purposes of this Act are to--
            (1) ensure that advertising campaigns paid for by the 
        Federal Government are not false or deceptive, do not contain a 
        political message, and are not considered publicity or 
            (2) highlight the lack of oversight and evaluation of 
        advertising campaigns paid for by the Federal Government; and
            (3) ensure that advertising campaigns in excess of 
        $10,000,000 per year are evaluated and approved by an 
        independent entity such as the General Accounting Office.


    (a) In General.--In any fiscal year, if the amounts appropriated to 
an agency exceed $10,000,000 to prepare or produce print, radio, or 
television advertising campaigns, as well as video news releases, uses 
of outdoor media, and Internet advertisements on websites not operated 
by the Federal Government, those amounts shall not be expended by the 
agency unless--
            (1) any proposed advertisement is submitted to the 
        Comptroller General of the United States for review; and
            (2) the Comptroller General determines that the proposed 
        advertisement does not contain a political message, and is not 
        false, misleading, or deceptive.
    (b) Definitions.--In this section:
            (1) Agency.--The term ``agency'' shall have the same 
        meaning as in section 105 of title 5, United States Code.
            (2) False, misleading, or deceptive.--The term ``false, 
        misleading, or deceptive'' shall have the same meaning as that 
        term is defined under the rules and regulations promulgated by 
        the Federal Trade Commission.

Pages: 1

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