i need your advice !

[stream flv=x:/jmvox.com/filez/videos/blogvid2.flv mp4=x:/jmvox.com/filez/videos/blogvid2.m4v embed=false share=false width=400 height=300 dock=true controlbar=over skin=dangdang.swf bandwidth=high autostart=false /]

So here I am, watching Discovery Channel… the ads come on (yeah ads on PayTV – that’s another story !) … I hear this ad… “OCC Motorcycles now available in Australia”. I think, “how cool is that!” …then I realise the voiceover is actually me… “hang on…that’s me!  What the?!!” …I remember reading that on July 29 as a “regional” ad. What do I mean by “regional”? Well, at that time I read “regional or small market” commercials, for a particular studio, at a significant discount (I changed my rates August 1). Now, let me say this right here – I’m not blaming the studio who contracted me, as in my opinion they’ve been ripped off as much as me in this situation, chances are they charged for a regional spot too.

Seriously, you can not tell me that the studio who produced the TVC (the people who contracted my employer), did not know where this was going to be aired, ie: Discovery Channel. It has probably gone to air on local TV (regional/small market) on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland Australia…BUT I’m sure it was always intended for National release on Discovery Channel.

This is where I’d love your comments and advice!

  • In your opinion, do I simply just have to live with this ?
  • Do I have any recourse at all ?
  • Do I just send the bill for a National read to my employer and let them chase their client ?
  • or like I said, am I just shit-outta-luck ?

Please leave your comments and thoughts below – I will also update the situation in the comment section, once I hear from the studio that employed me to read the spot.

10 Responses to “i need your advice !”

  • Oh dear – there are shonks everywhere, and here’s another example of the great rip-off. I hope you’re not out of luck on this one, and I’d certainly send a national bill to your employer and let them chase the client. You and your employer provided services for which you were contracted on the basis that it would be a ‘regional’ ad, i.e., at a significantly lower rate. I’d also let the studio know that you’re riled. Maybe they will be too! Good luck.

  • Been there, but on a smaller scale. Voiced a :30 for radio, then heard it on local TV during a Seinfeld rerun with wonderful graphics and flashing lights. Complained to my production people, was asked to please let it slide in the interest of keeping the tenuous healthy relationship with the rather touchy client. My response was to never do a voiceover for them again. Or a dub. Or anything.

    I’ve no idea what recourse you may have, but I would suspect as the talent…you’ll end up getting hosed in this situation.

  • Andrew:


    Yes, Unfortunately this is happening way too often with Regional commercials. As a TVC producer in a regional area I appreciate the artists and studios that offer a reduced rate for their work and your craft.

    It is my opinion that in this matter you have every right to charge for your appearence on a national commercial.

    But who do you charge? Unfortunately for them you should charge the studio you work for. They should in turn charge the Producer of the TVC for a National release of the commercial in question. This Producer should then charge the client and so forth.. You get my drift.

    There definately is a chain of command and profressional courtesy to up hold, which clearly this Producer has operated outside of there code of conduct.

    This issue unfortunatley comes up quite a lot and you should also lodge a formal complaint to Commercials Advice… (FACT)… I suspect the commercial has also slipped through the classification level also.

    Now… What should have happened is the Producer of the TVC will have known that their client wishes to have the commercial released to the Discovery Channel. Therefore the Producer has an obligation to ensure the commecial is classified for national broadcast, and that all elements used to make the commercial infact comply with their consumer code of conduct (which includes the relevant payment of services rendered to create the commercial).

    This producer has dropped the ball and no doubt has made money off the sale of release of this commercial.

    This needs to stop and the only way is to charge and complain. At least you will have an invoice sent out which will make it’s way back though the pecking order and the advertiser (the original client) will pay for it in the end.

    What I am afraid of is what I call reactive economics. Where you and other artists and studios are forced to increase your prices to ensure a “blanket covering” of your cost. This affects us all. The Producer increases the price to pay for the added increase of elements… etc. The advertiser ends up bauking at the price of a commercial and the sales reps inturn put pressure on the producer to make the commercial at low budget. This results in a poor quality commercial at a rediculously overpriced cost. And the only winner in the situataion is the TV station airing the commercial.

    So keep at it… your product is good.. but cover yourself with the question… EVERYTIME! “is this regional or national or both” and charge accordingly. Write it into your terms and conditions… Which is like a clause in a contract.

    Hope this helps.

  • And this is why being a member of MEAA and adhering to their principles is a good thing. Just saying! 🙂

  • Hey Jason! Get back in touch with the studio… that’s your first action. They wouldn’t have been aware of this either… they do need to know, and send them an invoice. They need to make sure their clients look after the talent too.
    Yes it’s a national read.
    Also get in tough with the company who’s address etc is on that commercial. They are the ones who gave the okay for it to be on foxtel. Let them know (nicely) that they will be receiving an invoice from either you or the studio.

    Andrew is correct.. I ask that question all the time. You have to.

    Anyhoo… you should get your money back.. when you do.. shout yourself a drink!!!



  • Hey Jas – OF COURSE that spot went national – you know why?
    Because the read you did is of national standard that’s why!

    Now this is not surprising as that’s just the sort of work you put out…consistently – and this one is one of the best reads i’ve heard you do, so absolutely; the amount of service you provide should be reflected in the amount of remuneration you receive – bottom line.

    Having said that we’ve all been shafted like this from time to time and regardless of whose fault it is, you deserve to be paid what you’re worth.

    Power to ya brother!
    Kieron 🙂

  • Hey Mate
    As a huge O.C.C. fan I have the utmost respect for them. We are talking international celebrities here. The fact that you are voicing along side Paul Teutul Sr immediately repositions my perception of you in the ranking of audio professionals, not only in Australia but now internationally.
    My deep and meaningful advice would be that “it is not what you are dealt with, but how you deal with it”.
    I can feel a quote coming on “as heard on xyz channel” or “as heard on O.C.C.”
    I would go with the flow… don’t block the incoming arm with your energy, pull on it. Gives you a big result using the energy already spent.
    We never stop learning either hey ?
    Keep up the good work

  • Jake:

    Hey Jason,

    There’s no doubt that this situation is a poor one to be in, and I think you have every right to be both surprised and upset by it. While I personally haven’t been in a situation like this, I’d say that I agree with the majority of posts on this topic already: follow up on this to your employer.

    By all means do it politely, but definitely do it. Whether the ad started locally or not, you’ve provided a service they deemed worthy of a national release, and been paid for that of a local advertisement. Therefore no matter what loop holes they may or may not try to play, the fact is you were underpaid for your talent.

    I’d contact the next person up in your ladder and let them continue the climb.

    All the best with this,


  • Firstly, I’d like to thank all those people who offered advice, either here on the blog, via direct email or via phone calls, I truly appreciate your comments and advice ! I promised that I’d bring you up-to-date this week on the progress of this situation. Well… at this point I don’t have solid answer from the studio I read this for, they are still working through the situation with their client.

    BUT, I made my decision – and that was to send an account for the full standard NATIONAL voiceover rate.

    Thanks again for your advice !

  • Hi Jason

    A wise decision and a simple solution. “The studio working through the situation with their client” is none of your concern, and frankly, it sounds like a jerk-off. Something the client needs to “work through” is that they have already stepped outside the law and you’re in no waiting mood.

    The parameters of the job have expanded beyond what you were hired and paid to do. So simply upgrade your invoice to cover the difference. Let the studio sweat it out from here on in. If they don’t deliver hand it over to Small Claims or whatever the equivalent is in Australia.



Leave a Reply