Bill Text: CA AB2188 | 2017-2018 | Regular Session | Enrolled


Bill Title: Political Reform Act of 1974: campaign disclosures: advertisements.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 8-0)

Status: (Enrolled) 2018-09-12 - Enrolled and presented to the Governor at 12 p.m. [AB2188 Detail]

Download: California-2017-AB2188-Enrolled.html

Enrolled  September 05, 2018
Passed  IN  Senate  August 31, 2018
Passed  IN  Assembly  August 31, 2018
Amended  IN  Senate  August 17, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  May 09, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 05, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 23, 2018

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 2188


Introduced by Assembly Member Mullin
(Principal coauthors: Senators Allen and Stern)
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Chiu, Gloria, Levine, and McCarty)
(Coauthor: Senator Dodd)

February 12, 2018


An act to amend Sections 84504.3, 84504.4, and 84510 of, and to add Sections 84503.5 and 84504.6 to, the Government Code, relating to the Political Reform Act of 1974.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2188, Mullin. Political Reform Act of 1974: campaign disclosures: advertisements.
Existing law, the Political Reform Act of 1974, requires specified disclosures in advertisements regarding the source of the advertisement. The act defines “advertisement” for this purpose as a general or public communication that is authorized and paid for by a committee for the purpose of supporting or opposing a candidate or candidates for elective office or a ballot measure or ballot measures.
Among other things, the act requires an electronic media advertisement, other than an Internet Web site, paid for by a committee, other than a political party committee or a candidate controlled committee established for an elective office of the controlling candidate, to include the text “Who funded this ad?,” unless including the text would be impracticable, and a hyperlink to an Internet Web site containing specified disclosures regarding who paid for the advertisement. For an Internet Web site paid for by a committee, other than a political party committee or a candidate controlled committee established for an elective office of the controlling candidate, the act requires the Internet Web site to include only specified disclosures regarding who paid for the advertisement, without exception.
This bill would modify the disclosures required for electronic media advertisements. The bill would require an electronic media advertisement that is a graphic, image, animated graphic, or animated image that the online platform, as defined, hosting the advertisement allows to link to an Internet Web site, paid for by a committee, other than a political party committee or a candidate controlled committee established for an elective office of the controlling candidate, to meet the “Who funded this ad?” disclosure described above. The bill would modify the “Who funded this ad?” disclosure in various ways, including requiring the disclosure to be made for the duration of the advertisement and allowing the text to be replaced with the phrase “Paid for by” or “Ad Paid for by.” The bill would require for an email message or Internet Web site the disclosures to be made at top or bottom of the email message, or at the top or bottom of every publicly accessible page of the Internet Web site, as applicable. The bill would require an electronic media advertisement that is disseminated as a video to comply with certain disclosure requirements, and if the video is longer than 30 seconds, the disclosures to be made at the beginning of the advertisement.
The act requires that an advertisement made via a form of electronic media that allows users to engage in discourse and post content, or any other type of social media, only include specified disclosures in a contrasting color and in no less than 8 point font on the committee’s profile, landing page, or similar location, and not on each individual post, comment, or other similar communication.
This bill would require the disclosures on the committee’s profile, landing page, or similar location to be on the cover or header photo of the committee’s profile, landing page, or similar location and in no less than 10-point font. The bill would require the disclosures to be fully visible on the cover or header photo when the profile, landing page, or similar location is viewed from any electronic device that is commonly used to view this form of electronic media. If making the disclosures fully visible on a commonly used electronic device would be impracticable, the bill would require the cover or header photo of the profile, landing page, or similar location to include only a hyperlink, icon, button, or tab to an Internet Web site containing the disclosures.
This bill would require a committee that disseminates an online platform disclosed advertisement, as defined, to expressly notify the online platform through which the advertisement would be disseminated that the advertisement is an advertisement under the act and provide the disclosure name, as defined, of the committee. The bill would require an online platform that disseminates a committee’s online platform disclosed advertisement to display adjacent to any text stating that the advertisement is an advertisement or is promoted or sponsored, “Paid for by” or “Ad Paid for by” followed by the disclosure name provided by the committee, with certain exceptions. The bill would require an online platform that disseminates committees’ online platform disclosed advertisements to maintain and make available a record of any advertisement disseminated on the online platform by a committee that purchased $500 or more in advertisements on the online platform during the preceding 12 months. The bill would require an online platform to display a prominent button, icon, tab, or hyperlink that links to a page clearly showing the records of the advertisements. The bill would make a person who intentionally violates these provisions for the purpose of avoiding disclosure liable in a civil or administrative action brought by the Fair Political Practices Commission or any person for a fine up to 3 times the cost of the advertisement, including placement costs.
The act requires a radio or television advertisement that is paid for by a political party or a candidate controlled committee established for an elective office of the controlling candidate, and that does not support or oppose a ballot measure and is not paid for by an independent expenditure, to include a specified disclosure regarding who paid for the advertisement.
This bill would require an advertisement that is made via a form of electronic media that allows users to engage in discourse and post content, or any other type of social media, that is paid for by a political party or a candidate controlled committee established for an elective office of the controlling candidate to include specified disclosures regarding who paid for the advertisement.
Because a violation of the act is punishable as a misdemeanor, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
The bill would become operative on January 1, 2020.
The Political Reform Act of 1974, an initiative measure, provides that the Legislature may amend the act to further the act’s purposes upon a 2/3 vote of each house of the Legislature and compliance with specified procedural requirements.
This bill would declare that it furthers the purposes of the act.
Vote: 2/3   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 84503.5 is added to the Government Code, to read:

84503.5.
 The disclosures described in Sections 84504 to 84504.6, inclusive, supersede the disclosures described in Sections 84502, 84503, and 84506.5, to the extent they conflict.

SEC. 2.

 Section 84504.3 of the Government Code is amended to read:

84504.3.
 (a) An electronic media advertisement that is a graphic, image, animated graphic, or animated image that the online platform hosting the advertisement allows to link to an Internet Web site, paid for by a committee, other than a political party committee or a candidate controlled committee established for an elective office of the controlling candidate, shall comply with both of the following:
(1) Include the text “Who funded this ad?,” “Paid for by,” or “Ad Paid for by” in a contrasting color and a font size that is easily readable by the average viewer for the duration of the advertisement.
(2) The text shall be included or displayed as a hyperlink, icon, button, or tab to an Internet Web site containing the disclosures required by Sections 84502, 84503, and 84506.5 in a contrasting color and in no less than 8-point font.
(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), the text required by paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) is not required if including the language would take up more than one-third of the graphic or image. In those circumstances, the advertisement need only include a hyperlink to an Internet Web site containing the disclosures required by Sections 84502, 84503, and 84506.5.
(c) Notwithstanding subdivisions (a) and (b), an email message, or Internet Web site, paid for by a committee, other than a political party committee or a candidate controlled committee established for an elective office of the controlling candidate, shall include the disclosures required by Sections 84502, 84503, and 84506.5 printed clearly and legibly in a contrasting color and in no less than 8-point font at the top or bottom of the email message, or at the top or bottom of every publicly accessible page of the Internet Web site, as applicable.
(d) An Internet Web site that is linked as provided for in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) shall remain online and available to the public until 30 days after the date of the election in which the candidate or ballot measure supported or opposed by the advertisement was voted upon.
(e) An advertisement made via a form of electronic media that is audio only and therefore cannot include either of the disclosures in subdivision (a) shall comply with the disclosure requirements for radio advertisements in Section 84504.
(f) An electronic media advertisement that is disseminated as a video shall comply with the disclosure requirements of Sections 84504.1, 84504.4, and 84504.5, depending on the type of committee that paid for it. If the video is longer than 30 seconds, the disclosures required by Sections 84504.1, 84504.4, and 84504.5 shall be made at the beginning of the advertisement.
(g) (1) An advertisement made via a form of electronic media that allows users to engage in discourse and post content, or any other type of social media, shall only be required to include the disclosures required by Sections 84502, 84503, and 84506.5 in a contrasting color that is easily readable by the average viewer and in no less than 10-point font on the cover or header photo of the committee’s profile, landing page, or similar location and shall not be required to include the disclosure required by subdivision (a) on each individual post, comment, or other similar communication. The disclosures specified in this subdivision shall be fully visible on the cover or header photo when the profile, landing page, or similar location is viewed from any electronic device that is commonly used to view this form of electronic media.
(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), if making the disclosures specified in paragraph (1) fully visible on a commonly used electronic device would be impracticable, the cover or header photo of the profile, landing page, or similar location need only include a hyperlink, icon, button, or tab to an Internet Web site containing the disclosures specified in paragraph (1).
(h) The disclosures required by this section do not apply to advertisements made via social media for which the only expense or cost of the communication is compensated staff time unless the social media account where the content is posted was created only for the purpose of advertisements governed by this title.

SEC. 3.

 Section 84504.4 of the Government Code is amended to read:

84504.4.
 (a) A radio or television advertisement that is paid for by a political party or a candidate controlled committee established for an elective office of the controlling candidate, and that does not support or oppose a ballot measure and is not paid for by an independent expenditure, shall include the disclosure required by Section 84502 subject to the following requirements:
(1) In a radio advertisement, the words shall be included at the beginning or end of the advertisement and read in a clearly spoken manner and in a pitch and tone substantially similar to the rest of the advertisement.
(2) In a television advertisement, the words shall appear in writing for at least four seconds with letters in a type size that is greater than or equal to 4 percent of the height of the screen.
(b) An advertisement that is made via a form of electronic media that allows users to engage in discourse and post content, or any other type of social media, that is paid for by a political party or a candidate controlled committee established for an elective office of the controlling candidate, and that does not support or oppose a ballot measure and is not paid for by an independent expenditure, shall include the disclosure required by Section 84502 in accordance with subdivision (g) of Section 84504.3.

SEC. 4.

 Section 84504.6 is added to the Government Code, to read:

84504.6.
 (a) A committee that disseminates an online platform disclosed advertisement shall do all of the following:
(1) Upon requesting the dissemination, expressly notify the online platform through which the advertisement would be disseminated that the advertisement is an advertisement as defined in Section 84501.
(2) (A) Provide the online platform with the disclosure name of the committee.
(B) For purposes of this section, “disclosure name” means the text required by Section 84503, followed by a colon, followed by, surrounded in quotation marks, the name of the committee as it appears on the most recent Statement of Organization filed pursuant to Section 84101. If no disclosure text is required by Section 84503, “disclosure name” means the name of the committee as it appears on the most recent Statement of Organization filed pursuant to Section 84101.
(C) If the disclosure name changes due to a change in the top contributors or the name of the committee, the committee shall provide the online platform with an updated disclosure name within five business days.
(3) Provide the online platform with the name of the candidate to which the advertisement refers and the office to which the candidate is seeking election, as applicable, or number or letter of the ballot measure and the jurisdiction to which the advertisement refers.
(4) Provide the online platform with the name and identification number of the committee that paid for the advertisement.
(b) An online platform that disseminates a committee’s online platform disclosed advertisement shall do one of the following:
(1) Display “Paid for by” or “Ad Paid for by” followed by the disclosure name provided by the committee, easily readable to the average viewer, located adjacent to any text stating that the advertisement is an advertisement or is promoted or sponsored. The online platform may display only one hundred or more characters of the disclosure name if it is followed by a “…” that is clearly clickable and that links to a page as described in paragraph (3).
(2) The online platform may instead display a hyperlink, icon, button, or tab with the text “Who funded this ad?,” “Paid for by,” or “Ad Paid for by” that is clearly clickable in the same or similar font and in at least the same font size as the online platform’s text, and easily readable to the average viewer, stating that the advertisement is an advertisement or is promoted or sponsored, that links to a page as described in paragraph (3).
(3) Hyperlinks, icons, buttons, or tabs used for the purposes described in paragraphs (1) and (2) shall be linked to the profile or landing page of the committee that paid for the advertisement; to another page to which the average viewer would normally navigate to view additional information about a committee containing the disclosure name in a manner that is easily seen and readable by the average viewer; or to an Internet Web site containing the disclosure required by subdivision (c) of Section 84504.3.
(c) An online platform that disseminates committees’ online platform disclosed advertisements shall meet all of the following requirements:
(1) Maintain, and make available for online public inspection in a machine readable format, a record of any advertisement disseminated on the online platform by a committee that purchased five hundred dollars ($500) or more in advertisements on the online platform during the preceding 12 months. Each record shall contain all of the following:
(A) A digital copy of the advertisement.
(B) The approximate number of impressions generated from the advertisement and the date and time that the advertisement was first displayed and last displayed.
(C) Information regarding the range charged or the total amount spent on the advertisement.
(D) The name of the candidate to which the advertisement refers and the office to which the candidate is seeking election, as applicable, or number or letter of the ballot measure and the jurisdiction to which the advertisement refers.
(E) The name and identification number of the committee that paid for the advertisement.
(2) The information required under this subdivision shall be made available as soon as practicable and shall be retained by the online platform for no less than four years.
(3) (A) Display a prominent button, icon, tab, or hyperlink with the text “View Ads” or similar text in one of the following locations: (i) near the top of a profile, landing page, or similar location of a committee that paid for an advertisement in a position that the average viewer will readily see it upon viewing that page; (ii) on a page that displays the committee’s profile information or biographical information; (iii) or on a page on which the average viewer would normally navigate to view additional information about a committee.
(B) The button, icon, tab, or hyperlink shall link to a page clearly showing all of the advertisement records required by paragraph (1).
(d) An online platform that creates a mechanism for a committee requesting dissemination of an online platform disclosed advertisement to expressly notify the online platform whether the advertisement is an advertisement as defined in Section 84501 and to provide all information necessary for the online platform to comply with the requirements of this section may rely in good faith on the information provided by the committee to the online platform to satisfy the online platform’s obligations under subdivisions (b) and (c).
(e) For purposes of this article, the following terms have the following meanings:
(1) “Online platform” means a public-facing Internet Web site, web application, or digital application, including a social network, ad network, or search engine, that sells advertisements directly to advertisers. A public-facing Internet Web site, web application, or digital application is not an online platform for purposes of this article to the extent that it displays advertisements that are sold directly to advertisers through another online platform.
(2) “Online platform disclosed advertisement” means an electronic media advertisement on an online platform that is not any of the following:
(A) A graphic, image, animated graphic, or animated image that the online platform hosting the advertisement allows to hyperlink to an Internet Web site.
(B) A video, audio, or email.

SEC. 5.

 Section 84510 of the Government Code is amended to read:

84510.
 (a) (1) In addition to the remedies provided for in Chapter 11 (commencing with Section 91000), a person who violates Section 84503 or 84506.5 is liable in a civil or administrative action brought by the Commission or any person for a fine up to three times the cost of the advertisement, including placement costs.
(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), a person who intentionally violates a provision of Sections 84504 to 84504.3, inclusive, or Section 84504.5 or 84504.6, for the purpose of avoiding disclosure is liable in a civil or administrative action brought by the Commission or any person for a fine up to three times the cost of the advertisement, including placement costs.
(b) The remedies provided in subdivision (a) shall also apply to any person who purposely causes any other person to violate any of the sections described in paragraph (1) or (2) of subdivision (a) or who aids and abets any other person in a violation.
(c) If a judgment is entered against the defendant or defendants in an action brought under this section, the plaintiff shall receive 50 percent of the amount recovered. The remaining 50 percent shall be deposited in the General Fund of the state. In an action brought by a local civil prosecutor, 50 percent shall be deposited in the account of the agency bringing the action and 50 percent shall be paid to the General Fund of the state.

SEC. 6.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.

SEC. 7.

 This act shall become operative on January 1, 2020.

SEC. 8.

 The Legislature finds and declares that this bill furthers the purposes of the Political Reform Act of 1974 within the meaning of subdivision (a) of Section 81012 of the Government Code.
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