OPINION: AFVPA must tackle row over film costs head-on

It is hard to avoid the conclusion that the Advertising Film and Videotape Producers Association’s voice has been drowned out by the Creative Directors Forum’s forthright challenge to justify the high cost of filming ads (Campaign, 17 January).

It is hard to avoid the conclusion that the Advertising Film and

Videotape Producers Association’s voice has been drowned out by the

Creative Directors Forum’s forthright challenge to justify the high cost

of filming ads (Campaign, 17 January).



The AFVPA could have acted fast to deal with the issue. Instead, it has

faxed its members - every one angered by the comments of the forum’s

chairman, Tim Delaney - telling them not to comment. The AFVPA has

hidden behind a turgid joint statement (Letters, p20) in which it is

joined by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (ironically, the

forum’s parent body) and the Incorporated Society of British

Advertisers.



But there are signs of serious unease among AFVPA members; the Creative

Directors Forum outburst, coupled with Bartle Bogle Hegarty’s move for

greater transparency in the film-making process, means that the AFVPA

needs to fight its corner now if it is to retain credibility with its

members.



The forum is pushing the view that production companies are keeping bulk

discounts negotiated with suppliers. The disturbing suggestion is that

money that rightly belongs to the client is being withheld. The AFVPA

replies that talk of bulk discounts is a red herring; if agencies were

to buy a guaranteed volume of work from production companies, rather

than individual projects on a film-by-film basis, then some of its

members might be prepared to talk discounts.



What now? First, the forum should put specific concerns to the AFVPA,

something it did not choose to do during the two years of negotiations

between the IPA, the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers and

AFVPA that led to the new production contract. Second, the AFVPA must

address the forum’s concerns. Otherwise, the debate won’t proceed beyond

which client paid for which director’s chef at which shoot.



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