IPA, ISBA and APA announce updated Tripartite Agreement

The Tripartite Agreement covers coronavirus production costs

Together as three trade associations, the IPA on behalf of advertising agencies, ISBA on behalf of advertisers and the APA on behalf of production companies, have co-authored an updated tripartite addendum (TA) for commercial productions, to be used while the coronavirus is still at large.

The purpose of the TA is to provide clarity to all parties as to the costs payable to the agency and production company by the advertiser in the event of a coronavirus-related disruption, such as a postponement, delay, relocation or cancellation.

The first and foremost commitment of all three organisations is that every practicable measure should be taken to protect everyone attending a commercials shoot against the risk of contracting coronavirus.

The TA does that by requiring the production company to manage the production in accordance with the APA Covid Shooting Guidelines (which incorporates the relevant law and Government guidance) and commits all attending the shoot to complying with those guidelines, and completing the Health Declaration within them.

We are confident that those procedures mean that commercials can be produced safely and responsibly.

The IPA and the APA recognise the financial commitment advertisers are making. Therefore, on behalf of the advertiser, the agency and production company commit to planning the production in such a way as to minimise the risk of the production being disrupted by coronavirus. The Risk Mitigation plan, to be completed by the agency with input from the production company, is a central part of that. If, despite all that, the production is disrupted, advertisers recognise that agencies and production companies, through the resulting postponement, delay, relocation or cancellation, will almost certainly have incurred costs. The original TA sought to actively manage and minimise risk and the associated costs.  The revised version builds on that further by adding increased controls and clarity.

Together, the bold step taken back in June by ISBA, the IPA and the APA to develop documents that enabled advertisers to commission the production of commercials during the coronavirus pandemic has allowed advertisers to advertise with reduced risk.

This revised document provides additional clarity around how the addendum works with existing agreements and, in the form of a scale in a newly developed schedule located at the back of the revised TA, what is payable on a postponement or cancellation. That scale reflects this special, we hope - unique - situation we find ourselves in, and recognises the commitment advertisers are making.

Working together as trade associations, we believe we have developed a document that is fair. It is not compulsory to use in the exact form presented and parties may propose different terms. It is our hope, though, that advertisers, agencies and production companies will wish to retain as many of these terms as possible, avoiding protracted negotiations and, therefore, allowing increased time for discussions over risk and mitigation and the production of the actual advertising.

And as with all legal templates, the TA should be reviewed by a qualified representative of the parties.

Says Richard Lindsay, IPA Legal & Public Affairs Director: "It is critical to the industry that commercial productions are able to proceed during the coronavirus pandemic. Clients want to continue investing in productions for their brands, and agencies and production companies want to use their skills and expertise to help them do that. A lack of insurance cover for Covid-19 related disruptions to productions has led to an understandable reticence to commission productions, though. This addendum clarifies that in the absence of insurance cover, clients will step in. But agencies and production companies must do what they can to minimise risk and keep clients informed. Advertisers will then be able to take decisions with their eyes open, understanding the potential risks and costs. By working together in this way, all three of our industry sectors should benefit."

Download the updated Tripartite Agreement on coronavirus production costs
Last updated 09 October 2020