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The Interactive Advertising Bureau urged Congress to protect consumers' access to information and entertainment on the Internet, and to guard against interest-group pressure to pass ill-considered "spyware" legislation that would hinder Internet commerce and the free exchange of information.

According to Fox News, the Federal Communications Commission has fine Univision Communications with a record fine of $24 million for falling short on regulators' expectations for educational children's programming. Univision Communications was being fined this large amount to punish them for maintaining that Novelas were educational programs.

The U.S. Census Bureau has begun mailing informational booklets to all state, local and tribal governments asking for their assistance in providing updated addresses for their communities, part of an early, concerted effort to make the 2010 Census as accurate as possible.

Just prior to the rowdy New Year's weekend, the Federal Communications Commission quietly released 88 studies and documents pertaining to media consolidation and ownership, dating back to 2002.

The Commission will be conducting 10 economic studies as part of its review of its media ownership rules. Each of these studies will be peer reviewed.

According to Inside radio, plenty of speakers at a field hearing on ownership rules decried the lack of minority ownership – and the presumed shutting-out of some important points of view. Veteran producer and Maya Cinemas CEO Moctesuma Esparza made an eloquent plea for the return of tax certificates to encourage sellers to deal with minorities. He says assimilated U.S. Hispanics like himself “are invisible on television” and a change in ownership might help that. Congress killed off a previous minority tax certificate program in the mid-1990s.

The Federal Communications Commission ordered its staff to destroy all copies of a draft study that suggested greater concentration of media ownership would hurt local TV news coverage, a former lawyer at the agency says.

Despite an executive order and a bill enacted into law by Congress designed to aggressively take steps to direct resources towards minority owned media, historically the federal government has not allocated a proportionally fair amount of resources to promote federal programs directed towards minorities in minority owned and minority consumed media. A study on minority advertising requested of the General Accounting Office (GAO) would determine the effectiveness of the current administration in addressing this issue.

What business does AHAA have in entering the immigration debate? Our business. Hispanics comprise a large majority of the nearly 12 million undocumented immigrants in this country and while the arguments have raged politically and emotionally regarding the negative economic impact of this population segment, few have considered the power of this market as consumers.

The issues facing the advertising industry in Congress, regulatory agencies and states continue to proliferate. For advertising to continue to play a prominent role in the economy (and our culture), we must be both knowledgeable and prepared to educate decision makers about the implications of the issues they address.

An unprecedented and timely national research project that will examine the impact of Social Security on the U.S. Latino population was announced by Dr. Fernando Torres-Gil, lead researcher for the project and director of the UCLA Center for Policy Research on Aging (CPRA). In addition to CPRA, the research collaborative includes the University of Southern California Ethel Percy Andrus Gerontology Center and the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center. The three lead centers will work in partnership with the National Hispanic Council on Aging and the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO).

California Assemblyman Ronald Calderon today called for consumer-focused reform of California’s cable television laws, joining dozens of consumer, small business and people with disability advocates and the CEO of Sí TV in calling for change.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced the launch of Simplify, a national campaign to communicate to tax preparers and small businesses the benefits of paying taxes electronically through the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS).

The volume of travel to the United States from Canada and Mexico declined by 20 percent between FY 2000 and FY 2004, according to data released by the Migration Policy Institute. The decline was revealed by a drop in the number of inspections at U.S. air, land, and sea ports of entry, with land inspections decreasing by 24 percent. The U.S.-Canadian border experienced a sharper decline (31 percent) than the U.S.-Mexico border (21 percent). While the steepest drop occurred between FY 2001 and FY 2002, the volume has continued to decrease annually.

According to Inside Radio magazine, recently-hired Penny Nance says the site's designed to "educate the public" about the laws, help them file complaints - and even track the status of complaints. But it certainly puts broadcasters on notice that the Commission's raising the alert level (it "vigorously enforces the law").

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