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Photography Question 
Steve J. Cherry
 

How firm should I be with ad agency?


Hello everyone -

I am just starting to get requests from agency and other businesses for use of my photos, and I have a bit of a dilemma:

An ad agency in Germany with what appears to be a decent list of client references, asked me to provide quotes on some classic car images they need for a client's ad campaign.

The kicker is that they could not provide: client name, pub name, number of runs, size of ad, license length - get the picture? In the end it seemed that they really wanted a license free quote for complete freedom with the images as long as they needed. The best they could say was that they needed the images for worldwide distrib, special interest pubs, and they needed freedom to do as they wish with the images and did not want to have to re-negotiate for each useage.

My question here is how firm and how mercinary to be when dealing in those murky terms. I am not an established high-profit photog, and I crave the business and the income, yet I do not wish to be taken advantage of.

This is exactly the kind of business I would like to win, because they seemed like genuine business people who want to pay for a product. My first impulse was to try and get them into at least a year long agreement where I retain my copyright.

Any ideas would be welcomed.

Best,
Steve Cherry
www.wcphotoworks.com
The images are in my portfolio under "classic cars"


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5/18/2006 7:31:52 AM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  You said:
"This is exactly the kind of business I would like to win, because they seemed like genuine business people who want to pay for a product. My first impulse was to try and get them into at least a year long agreement where I retain my copyright. "

Personally, I think this is somewhat wishful thinking on your part. While I can understand their reluctance to provide the name of their client, the publication, press run, size of the image, etc., is a well-known, industry standard, necessary to pricing a usage fee. If they don't know that, they're not really in the biz. If they do and they're stone walling you, then why do you want to do business short or long term, with someone like that who can't be honest with you. If they don't know, they should tell you that they don't know and need to get back to you.

Tell them that once they narrow down the specifics, you'll be pleased to provide them a quote for one-time usage fees to those specifics. Period.
Meanwhile, don't hold your breath. AND get a phone number. Don't dink around with e-mails in this situation.
Talk to a real person, a principle in the agency who makes decisions and discuss your work.

The only other thing you could do is sell them a co-extensive usage agreement that allows them unlimited usage and you as well on a first-come, first served basis although you agree to let them have first worldwide publication rights. Otherwise, you're selling them your copyright and you really shouldn't do that unless the dough is really, really good and you get it up front in U.s. currency.

Now...your Swiss Bank Account Number please, so we can check your deposits this month??? ;>)
Mark


Okie dokie?
Mark



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5/18/2006 10:57:27 AM

 
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