After nearly two years in discussion, the Institute of
Practitioners in Advertising, the Advertising Film and Video Producers
Association and the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers have
published ’Procedures in Advertising’. Sadly, the three organisations
determined from the outset that it was not necessary to have open
discussion with all interested parties and so the industry has been
denied this latest opportunity to achieve ’best practice’ in commercials
Obviously, our concerns at the Association of Post-Production Companies
are with post-production. Over the past year we have lobbied the
organisations involved, as well as the working party, to discuss
specific problems that rebound upon an editor.
We are certain they did read our letters and took note of some of our
points, but their reluctance to talk face-to-face about the problems
that affect our end of the industry has lost us all opportunity to
benefit from the ’absolute transparency’ of costs and contractual
relationships that the procedures were supposed to encourage.
There has long since ceased to be a single line of hierarchy from client
through agency to production company in the making of commercials.
Agencies frequently employ post-production suppliers alongside the
production company but without a formal contractual relationship. It is
hard to see where the new clarity and transparency is supposed to come
Of course, we are pleased to see the acknowledgment of a difference
between what the procedures now refer to as the ’director’s cut’,
previously known as ’the cut’ and covered by the edit fee, and the
’agency cut’, as in the commercial being presented to the client (often
involving extra editing work).
In reality, the gap between the ’director’s cut’ and the ’agency cut’
can vary from a couple of tweaks to a major reconstruction, so it is
almost impossible to estimate the final post-production cost before the
event. As a result, we have seen the severe erosion of our ability to be
properly financially rewarded for our work.
It is hard to understand why the production companies have agreed to
shoulder the financial risk involved and, in all honesty, it worries
The AFVPA has not sat down and discussed this serious change of
responsibility with APPCo - why not?
Juliet Sturridge is the chairman of the Association of Post-Production