Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The price of a popular face

We ooh and ahh at beautiful ads shot with beautiful models (the not so beautiful ones are known as talents), and we gasp at the huge budgets thrown at such creations, but there’s a community out there that scoffs at sentences containing both the words ‘money’ and ‘advertising’.

You see, just like A-list Hollywood types, the majority of Singapore-based artistes ‘belong’ to artiste management companies such as Fly Entertainment (owned by Irene Ang) and Artiste Network (owned by Ken Lim). These talents, aside from acting or singing on TV programmes, derive a large portion of their income from endorsement deals and shooting commercials.

Recently, one such artiste, who previously did a shoot for a large furniture brand, was heard saying he was surprised to find the ad being aired in places such as cinemas and on cable channels because he only signed off on being exposed on terrestrial TV.

When he found out he was being short changed, he had to go as far as to threaten legal action before he was paid the extra royalties from the additional media buys. The tricky thing he encountered, was finding out which parties to go after for the money.

The chain:

Artiste --> artiste management firm --> production house --> creative agency --> media agency --> client

I don’t know exactly where he went to get his money in the end, but it wasn’t the artiste management firm, because it couldn’t care less its artistes were being exploited.

I’m quite sure such occurrences are common place -- especially since so many players are involved, it is easy to neglect to pay the face of your commercials a couple of thousand dollars.

But I just wanted to give a voice to the neglected talents whom we depend on to create hype for our brand but who are then tossed aside once the shoot’s over. Yes, they’re wheeled and dealed like commodities (aren’t service providers all) so the least we could do is pay them fairly.

1 comment:

VANILLA said...

Very well said. Although I think Artiste and talents alike should be compensated fairly, the question is... is it all worth the money? The promise of using talents I guess is to make the ads look good, that's for sure. But paying top dollar to use a well known face, are they able to move volumns for the client? Can they account for ROI?