edition 50 may 5, 2006
how do you value intellectual property?

     There is much discussion about the role of IP in advertising. While photographers leverage their IP rights, most agencies and design companies sign their rights away to secure the contract.Today we look at two case studies where IP could have made the arrangement between client and agency fairer. Check out the new P3 blog at https://www.p3.com.au/blog/ In this P3 e-news… the role of IP in advertising – the connect debate TV workshops – final call your questions answered

the role of IP

There are often discussions in the industry regarding the charging of fees for intellectual property. Most of the contracts we see have the agency assign their IP on the payment of the project or retainer fee. The issue is that if the retainer or project fee is based on the agency resource cost by the overhead and a profit margin, where is the value of the IP represented? The concern for most advertisers is that if they start placing a value on IP, where will it end? Here are two examples where IP could be valued and make the agency / client relationship more equitable.

Case 1 – Local work used overseas A local independent agency creates a campaign for their global client. A local production company shoots the campaign here.

The campaign is a huge success and the advertiser hands the concept, which they own under the contract, to their head office to run the campaign overseas. The head office gives the campaign to their overseas rostered agency who flies to Australia to shoot new versions. The same local production company charges three to four times as much so they make more money. The overseas agency gets paid for producing the overseas campaign. The client gets a successful campaign for the rest of the world, for no extra concept fee. The only one to not get paid is the local agency.

Case 2 – Created here, produced there A client goes to pitch and awards a highly creative agency the account for coming up with a great strategy and idea. Six months after the development of the campaign the client begins moving the bulk of the production work from the agency to a “cheaper” design house / production facility.

While not terminating the successful agency, within 12 months they are no longer doing any more work for the client. With agencies often taking six to 12 months after appointment to recoup the cost of the pitch, the successful agency is out of pocket.

Summary Both of these cases are possible because currently most agency agreements pay for the production of the idea and not the value of the idea itself.

On payment of the concept, the agency assigns their copyright to the client. While this is considered legally “neater” for the advertiser, it is hard to justify the fairness.

An option for consideration Instead of assigning the copyright, the agency provides the client with an exclusive licence within the confines of an agreed geography and for the term of the agency / advertiser agreement. If at the end of the agreement, the advertiser wishes to continue to use the IP created by the agency during the term of the agreement they pay the agency a pre-agreed amount for the assignment of the copyright. This recognises the value of the IP created by the agency, but does not use the rights of the IP to hold the client to ransom, with an agreed set of conditions up front.

If you are re-thinking your agency terms and conditions, considering all the options first is a smart idea. To do so, contact biz@p3.com.au or call Sydney 02 9279 4997 or Melbourne 03 9682 6800.

the connect debate

The Tipping Point: Will Mainstream Advertising Die? Thursday, 6 July, Museum of Sydney

MC: Simon Canning, The Australian Debating Team – Darren Woolley – P3, Malcolm Auld – MAD, Ross Dawson – Future Exploration Network, Sam McConnell – Marketing Magazine Find out what you do and don’t know about online and interactive media, and how you can revolutionise your marketing. For bookings contact info@connectnetwork.com.au
TV workshops – final call

Get a better understanding of the TV production process – so you can make more informed decisions and participate more effectively in your own productions.   $450 per participant $395 for AMI/AANA members Sydney – Wed May 10 – 9 am-1 pm Melbourne – Tue May 16 – 9 am-1 pm Sydney – Thursday May 18 – 9am-1pm   To secure your spot email georgia@p3.com.au for a booking form  
your questions answered  
Do you have any ‘best practice’ advice on talent fee negotiation? Yes, the answer to it all is negotiation. Many casting agents take the path of least resistance, and pay at the upper end of industry rates, and a % of that for add ons (such as internet, cinema, etc). All the %’s used by the casting agent to calculate the fee are the same as the %’s they would use if an add on was sought after a contract was signed. Currently, few agencies leverage the pre-contract negation stage to its full advantage to reduce these mark ups to a minimum. Many agencies rely on the casting agent to set the fee and do not question this fee, or ask if there is talent wishing to negotiate. In the current marketplace, there are plenty of actors willing to negotiate their fee, but often they never get the chance. Many agencies do not want to enter into negotiations on their client’s behalf as there is nothing in it for them. Thus, the higher end of the industry rate is most often paid. P3TV has: 1. Benchmark rates for actors so a realistic rate can be set. 2. Best practice proposals to ensure the agency follows best practice on your behalf. 3. A template talent contract that can be set for individual client needs and used as a base for negotiations. For more info, call 03 9682 6800 or 02 9279 4997, or email clive@p3.com.au  

P3 helps advertisers achieve maximum value from their budget by providing cost benchmarks, industry best practice knowledge, training and independent third party advice on agency selection & remuneration, media planning & buying, direct & interactive marketing, tv & print production and pr.

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