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Universal Principles of Engagement Set to Be Announced at World Producers Summit

19 June 2013

Cannes, France Tuesday 18 June 2013. Today, at 1pm, the Commercial Film Producers of Europe (CFP-E) the Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP) and the Advertising Producers Association (APA), will publish the Universal Principles of Engagement at the World Producers Summit in Cannes, France.


In a first-of-its-kind document, the Universal Principles of Engagement will outline a recommended set of global principles for production companies and the agencies, clients and other organisations they serve to adhere to in order to ensure structure, clarity and fair practices in worldwide commercials production.

Now in its ninth year, the World Producers Summit is a fringe event held during the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, where 100 production company owners from around the world gather to share intelligence about industry affairs. Previous summits have addressed issues such as procurement, the pitching process and slow payments, but this year the discussion will transform into action. For the first time ever, producers associations from around the world have worked on and will endorse a document aimed at establishing a foundation for producing commercials that transcends borders and is truly universal.


“We saw the same basic issues coming up over and over again and in different markets, so decided there was value in addressing those in a document that could be applied to any production market in the world,” say Matt Miller, Chief Executive of the AICP Steve Davies, Chief Executive of the APA and Francois Chilot, Chairman of the CFP-E who are spearheading the initiative.

The Universal Principles of Engagement is focused on a written contract, something that exists in some territories but not in all. “The contract is beneficial to all parties because it ensures that what the production company thinks it is providing and what the agency/client thinks it is getting is the same thing, minimising the risk of misunderstanding, costs that are in dispute and/or an unhappy client,” say Miller, Chilot and Davies.

“Other basic principles, such as an upfront payment of at least 50% of the budget, is vital to create a basic structure in which a production company can operate,” they continue. “As we do not have retained clients but rely on projects, the 50% upfront is crucial to both the fiscal survival of production companies resulting in allowing our people the space to remain passionate about producing great work and set new agendas.”

The Universal Principles have been endorsed by producers associations around the world including, but not limited to: the AICP (US), CFP-E (Europe), APA (UK), Produzenten Allianz (Germany), APFP (France), AMFI (MEXICO), APRO (BRAZIL), CPAT (Canada), and many others. It will be each association’s responsibility to propagate the use of the principles in its own country, although it is not essential for a company to be a member of its local association to adopt them in its business approach. Other associations will be bringing this document and philosophy back to their regions from the summit.


“Territories with the least developed production frameworks will benefit most from the Universal Principles of Engagement,” say Miller, Davies and Chilot. “However, production companies in the markets with sophisticated business and contractual structures and others will benefit too because when they work in other markets it will give them a better basis for contracting with the agency, engaging them in a clear and fair way. The agencies will benefit for the same reasons.”

For more information about the Universal Principles of Engagement contact: Jane Austin at Persuasion Communications 00 44 7989 953 938

020 7434 2651