15th May 2020

Andrew Hale, Service Delivery Manager at PRS

In normal times we would be gearing up to enjoy that weird and wonderful institution that is the Eurovision song contest. While the celebrations won’t be able to go ahead as usual, it has given us pause to think about the music industry and its connection to advertising.

This guest piece was originally published in our Spring 2017 newsletter but is as important now as it was then.

Choosing the right music for your advert is important. Music makes an emotional impact upon people, and a well-crafted song can stick in the listener’s mind for life, making it an extremely powerful marketing tool. Think of those touching John Lewis Christmas adverts – setting those to heavy metal just wouldn’t have the same effect, no matter how cute the actors and animals were!

Getting it right can be a daunting task. Do you go for a well-known song or some classical music? What about something by an up and coming artist, or even commissioning a jingle? One thing is clear: the right music boosts an ad and can build a positive association to a brand – that’s gold dust for marketers! Whichever route you choose, surely the people who create that music deserve to be compensated correctly for it?

PRS for Music represents the rights of over 118,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in the UK. As a membership organisation we ensure creators are paid whenever their music is played, performed or reproduced. In a nutshell we use the licence fee paid to us by the broadcasters to make quarterly distributions to our members when their music is used. However, we can only do this accurately if we have the correct reporting.

We receive a daily feed of new commercials from Clearcast, and transmission details of these commercials from broadcasters. The two sets of data are then linked using the clock number.

Because of the huge volumes of data, PRS has to trust that the information we are being sent is correct. At the moment we spot check a handful of adverts on CopyCentral for quality control purposes – making sure all the necessary information has been completed correctly, and sometimes listening to the advert in question to confirm the reporting. However, we can’t do this for all 36,000 separate commercials.

We have recently introduced a more automated quality tool for the programme reporting we receive from TV and Radio stations which means we have increased our quality control capabilities. We will be rolling this out to more of our workstreams, including commercials, in the near future. Getting the right data in is essential to making accurate and efficient distributions, and there are a few bits of key information that PRS needs to ensure this happens:  

Filling out forms is no-one’s idea of fun, but when those forms are essential to make sure someone receives a payment – someone who has helped make your creation successful – then it’s important to get it right. By taking care to input the right data into CopyCentral you are helping PRS for Music send accurate royalties to the right people, and the composers can afford to keep on making beautiful music to help you sell your brands.   

Duplication of clocks may incur a fee

11th May 2020

Clearcast continuously works to streamline its procedures, so the clearance process is as smooth and efficient as it can be. In recent years, we have improved our service levels and we successfully meet those for the 85% of script submissions. However, sometimes there are kinks that can disrupt the operation such as processing duplicate edits, which we charge for. Although this is not a new measure we thought a reminder outline of the specifics would be helpful. 

Amending and resubmitting ads requires us to duplicate compliance procedures. Submissions need to be processed and checked by our ingest team for flashing, supers and claims. Copy Clearance staff also need to ensure compliance against script submissions and previous ads for approval.

We are committed to turnaround times and when ads are resubmitted with cosmetic changes, our workload increases and can slow down the normal service we provide. Even if a change is very small, Clearcast must go through the same compliance process to check that newly submitted ads comply in full.

We reserve the right to charge for duplication of edits. Duplicating submissions may incur a fee of £250 (ex VAT) for each additional clock.

The charge is for duplicate clocks and additional clocks with only cosmetic amendments. These are changes that neither us nor broadcasters require and that are not materially significant.

The following highlights examples of the type of changes likely to be charged for. This is not an exhaustive list:

1. Changes to the grading of an ad
2. A change of VO artist (unless forced for contractual reasons)
3. Changes to the audio in an ad

Below are examples of material changes unlikely to be charged for:

1.Changes to claims in the ad or pricing
2.Changing soundtrack or music
3.Removal of the word “new”
4.Changes in offer dates
5.Where logos are updated with a date or rating
6.Resubmitting an ad from a different agency

Ideally, we do not want to charge anyone for resubmitting clocks, so we hope this has been a useful prompt going forward. If you are in any doubt please contact our Operations Manager, Mark Hynes, before resubmitting.