Celebrity Marketing: Essential Points to Include in an Offer Letter

celebrity marketing offer letter

There are eleven “must include” clauses in a celebrity offer letter to protect your brand.

The number one killer of celebrity deals is a brand’s own legal team. I’ve found in many deals “legal” has their own agenda which can be in sharp contrast to the brand team. The celebrity offer letter is the pre-cursor to the contract and extremely important for establishing the parameters of a contract.

Knowing what has to be in a celebrity offer letter allows you to manage an endorsement (for advertising) or spokesperson (for public relations) with confidence and efficiency.

Here’s a primer for creating a celebrity offer letter that includes all of the necessary protections a brand needs:

  1. Client: The brand or brands are identified here.
  2. Product: A detailed definition of the product and product category plus talent’s name, image, likeness, signature and voice usage.
  3. Term: Sets the length of the contract. This section also sets terms for a potential strike or other work stoppage by Screen Actors Guild (SAG), the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), or other applicable guild or union due to Force Majure (chance or unavoidable occurrence) or delay by talent. Include language for extending the initial term and the option year defined.
  4. Territory: Is it worldwide with certain exceptions or is it limited to one or more countries? Include the internet and other services such as client sales meetings and industrial uses.
  5. Talent Services: The celebrity you’re hiring is defined as “Talent”. This clause provides approval of all of the celebrity rights and services plus reasonable client approval of scripts and all media activities, production days, wardrobe fitting, message training session, quotes and images.
  6. Usage of materials: The right to use, publish, broadcast, reproduce, transmit, license, exhibit, perform, disseminate and distribute the Talent’s name, image, voice, signature, performance, biography and likeness.
  7. Exclusivity: Provides that talent will not provide services to any conflicting third-party.
  8. Requirements: Depending upon the category (example hair) client can determine certain things such as color, length, style in connection with contracted services.
  9. Approvals: Approval clause covers multiple people intricate to the commercial shoot. Client reserves right to determine the director for the shoot and both parties to deal in good faith prior to hiring director. Client also reserves right to determine hair stylist, photographer, make-up and wardrobe stylists. Also includes reasonable storyboard and copy approvals.
  10. Compensation: The payment for services and usage plus applicable union payments and the timing of all payments.
  11. Travel: In the event that it is necessary for Talent to travel outside the local area defines what expenses the Client will pay.

Lacking a marketing background, attorneys sometimes need help incorporating the view and needs of the brand team. They can be willing to walk away from deals you or your team have spent days finalizing.

photo credit: Håkan Dahlström via photopin cc

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