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Let’s start with – what is a creative agency agreement? Generally, a creative agency agreement is an agreement for creative services, including design, advertising, marketing and promotional services between a client and a creative agency.

In this 4-part series, we will cover the commercial items that both the client and the creative agency need to consider when entering into a creative agency agreement.

Appointment

What sort of appointment will the creative agency have? Will it be the exclusive provider of the creative services? If it is the exclusive provider of such services, the client cannot appoint another creative agency that provides the same or similar services for the duration of the agreement.

Term

How long will this agreement last? Will it be a fixed term, for example, for a particular project, or a particular time period? Or will it be ongoing until one party terminates the agreement? This is a commercial point which needs to be agreed between the parties.

Obligations

It is important to set out the obligations of both parties to avoid disputes.

As the client, you need to consider what you require from the creative agency. For example, do you require the creative agency to obtain your consent and approval before advertisements are made public?

As the creative agency, there may also be things you require from the client to enable you to perform your services, such as providing logos, designs and other materials in editable form.

Campaign plans

If it is an ongoing arrangement, then there may be individual advertising campaigns from time to time. If this is the case, then the agreement needs to set out a clear procedure for the development and approval of campaign plans. This usually requires the creative agency to first prepare and draft a creative concept and provide a budget, which then needs to be approved by the client before the creative agency proceeds further. To avoid problems down the track, this procedure for the development of campaign plans needs to be clearly understood by the parties, and drafted into the agreement.

Approvals

Before any work of the creative agency is made public, it should be approved by the client. Once the creative agency has supplied all the necessary plans, layouts, artworks and relevant materials to the client, the client needs to provide approval to proceed with the production of the campaign.

It is unnecessary to specify what the approval authorises the creative agency to do, as this can be set out in the agreement from the beginning. For example:

  • the client’s written approval of a budget or cost estimate authorises the creative agency to purchase the approved production materials;
  • the client’s written approval of films or recordings authorises the creative agency to broadcast such films or recordings; or
  • the client’s written approval of storyboards authorises the creative agency to enter into the necessary production contracts.

Conclusion

These are the initial considerations when entering into a creative agency agreement. Other items which need to be considered will be covered in parts 2, 3 and 4. Stay tuned! For more information on drafting a creative agency agreement, contact LegalVision on 1300 544 755 today.

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