What You Need to Know about Online Video Ads and the SAG-AFTRA Commercials Contract

Sandy Drayton  | 

The advertising industry’s three-year contract with SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists), is up for renewal on April 1st, 2016. If you’re an advertiser or media buyer who works with digital video, there are some potentially significant changes coming in how you compensate talent for online rights. What exactly is on the table, and why does it matter, now and in the future? Let’s break down what’s at stake:

Digital Talent Rights
During the last round of SAG-AFTRA talent negotiations in 2013, talent rights payments for online use were just a fraction of the payments made for TV. But with the explosion in digital video advertising (and corresponding reductions in TV buying) that have occurred in the past three years, it’s conceivable that digital talent rights will play a much larger role in the new deal that’s reached between the advertising and talent world.

The Current Agency Tracking System for Digital Talent Payments is Out of Date
Given the ever-growing range of digital video ad placements, it’s getting harder to keep track of online creative using traditional TV monitoring practices. There are simply too many potential destinations for distribution and minimal human oversight, the combination of which can lead to talent compliance problems. In fact, we believe that more than one-third of all video ads running online are out of compliance with talent and rights contracts in one way or another. As the new regulations are announced next month, these outdated tracking systems have the potential to cause more frequent (and larger) late-payment and out-of-compliance fines.

Digital Agencies Need to Get Up to Speed Now before Things Get Tricky (and Costly)
Once a new SAG-AFTRA agreement has been reached, new rules will take effect immediately, leaving little margin for error and minimal time to make adjustments. Any agency with digital video creative in the mix should determine a plan now to get ahead of the more digital-centric rules that will soon be announced.

Interested in learning about a solution for tracking online video ads to ensure they’re in compliance with talent rights and payments? The TRUST Tag™ from Extreme Reach helps brands avoid millions of dollars in fines and late payments.

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