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Get Adobe Flash player lets performers, their representatives and employers quickly calculate the appropriate use fee for featured players in TV commercials based on the established, industry-endorsed method approved by the Personal Managers' Association, the Association of Model Agents and British Actors' Equity.
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  Useful Information

What are Use Fees?

The accepted method of paying a featured performer for his/her services in a British television commercial is a Basic Studio Fee ("BSF") for studio work plus use fees (or "repeat fees") based on the size of the audience seeing the commercial ("TeleVision Ratings" - or "TVRs").

This method of payment is the only one approved by the actors' union Equity, the Personal Managers' Association (the PMA) and the Association of Model Agents (the AMA). For more information on any of these organisations click on its logo above.

The Casting Directors' Guild (the CDG), comprising the vast majority of reputable casting drectors, also supports this method of payment and even the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (the IPA) during their dispute with Equity acknowledged that the use fees paid to visual performers (by this method) were "about right".

To download a printable version of the 'Standard Equity Form of Engagement' see the bottom of the page.

Advice to Actors and Agents

Why is a buy out being offered for a UK or US commercial?
Usually to deny the performer  the appropriate fees he or she is due. "it's only being shown over a few days" or "it's only being shown a few times" are excuses that are often offered up for underpaying the performer. Yet ONE showing during a popular programme might be seen by 12 million people. That could be the same as showing the commercial 12 times over three months during a less popular programme.

What can I do about it?
If you are offered a lump sum for usage then try to establish what the TVRs are so that you can judge whether what you are being offered is appropriate.

Ideally, for UK commercials you should only accept a lump sum if it is expressed on the contract as as an advance payment against an agreed number of TVRs. If the commercial is brought back at a later date, and it has exceeded the agreed number of TVRs, you should then receive further use fees. You will need to ask how many TVRs are being bought for the sum offered; and to help you work this out you can use the simple calculator to the right. All you have to do is enter the Basic Studio Fee and the number of TVRs.

To assist those wanting to make a commercial on a fixed budget, the calculator can work out the number of TVRs that can be bought for a certain sum of money. Simply alter the number of TVRs entered until the result fits the budget. Alternatively enter a different BSF.

For advice on US or Canadian commercials see here.

Download a printable version of the 'UK Guide to Payments' and 'Standard Equity Form of Engagement'
(You will need Adobe Acrobat to read this file. Please follow the link below for a free download of this software.)
Click here for Adobe Acrobat download .
<< Choose required region
Calculate your UK Use Fee
Basic Studio Fee
Number of TVRs
Will the production be screened nationally or just in one or more regions?
National Regional
Is this the first showing or a rerun of an old campaign?
New Rerun

Disclaimer: The calculator is offered as a guide only. Data is believed to be correct as of 15th May 2007. While we have endeavoured to provide accurate and up to date information we cannot be held responsible for any loss incurred through its use.