4A’s Executive VP of Government Relations on Defeating Washington D.C.’s Proposed 3% Ad Tax

Alison Pepper discusses how she and other organizations helped nix the D.C. Council’s tax that also would have included the sale of personal information, and why the fight isn’t over.


By Lindsay Rittenhouse and Max Sternlicht. Published on August 06, 2020.

Original Ad Age article


Allison Pepper, executive VP of government relations for ad agency trade group 4A’s, scored a major win recently when she helped get a proposed 3 percent tax on advertising services and the sale of “personal information” nixed from Washington, D.C. City Council’s 2021 Budget and Financial plan. The tax was expected to increase the city’s revenues by $18.4 million and help combat a steep budget deficit.

But Pepper on the latest edition of Ad Age’s “Ad Lib” podcast says the fight is not over as numerous states eye new revenues to fill budget shortfalls. Pepper, who worked alongside  organizations like the Association of National Advertisers and local D.C. area agencies to stop the tax, says she expects “other states to follow suit” in introducing similar tax bills aimed at the sale of personal information in particular.

On the podcast she discusses what that could mean for advertisers and how the 4A’s will continue to fight these taxes when and if they are proposed. She also touches on the emergence of new privacy laws and how the 4A’s is guiding agencies  to navigate them. The California Consumer Privacy Act, for example, went into effect on Jan. 1.