What is a buy out?

  • Jessica Winterton

    Actor

    Recently a few jobs I have seen advertised have said that the cast will be expected to agree to a buy out fee but I have no idea what it is or if it is something I should avoid. I have never come across it before.

    Can anyone help?

    Best wishes to all,

    Jess

    • 25th Apr 2017
    • 24406
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  • Caroline Boulton

    Actor

    You get a daily fee for your days work filming then the buy out is to literally buy out the rights to the film/commercial so they can use it.

    Buy outs are I believe not supported by Equity? but they are pretty much the norm nowadays. It should specify the length of time they are buying the rights for and what the usage will be ie broadcast, internet usage, stills etc. Its best to get this information very clear and so no surprises if you see your self on ITV.

    A good buyout is about 10k but these days they can be between 3K and 6k. The daily fee is normally in the region of £300-400

    Your agent should offer you the best advice. x

    • 25th Aug 2009
    • 1
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Hi Jess,

    Buyouts are offered on commercials. The Equity agreement (no longer in force, now shown as guidelines) for commercials was always to include TVRs (TV repeats, I believe), which is based on whatever figure the basic studio fee is (bsf), and the higher the number of TVRs, the more money you got. This meant that if the company decided to extend the length of time the commerical was showing, then you'd get proportionately more money. Equity members were advised not to accept buyouts as they are potentially losing the chance to earn as much money as possible, but then buyouts work in your favour if the commercial either doesn't get shown, or isn't shown as much as they'd planned. You can only work out if a buyout is worth accepting if you know the TVRs, then you can use www.usefee.tv to calculate what you would have earned under the old agreement, e.g based on a bsf of £250 (Equity guidelines are £250 - £500) for a featured visual artist on a new, national TV commercial, and TVRs of 100, then your fee would be £2102.50. Once you start adding any other territories (countries), or media (print, posters etc), then additional money should be paid.

    Sorry if this leaves you more confused than before, but it is quite a complicated subject! Maybe someone else has a simpler explanation?

    The message is, be wary of buyouts if they don't seem to offer much money for what seems like a large coverage (nationwide or larger) and which doesn't limit the time in which the ad can be used (usually >1 year).

    • 25th Aug 2009
    • 2
  • Toni Brooks

    Actor

    Blame Maggie's hammering of all unions and the closed shop and de-regulation.

    • 25th Aug 2009
    • 3
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Equity didn't 'allow' it to happen, Splatty. Equity instructed its members not to accept buyouts, some of those members ignored the instruction, the closed shop was finished and non-members accepted buyouts, et voila!

    • 25th Aug 2009
    • 4
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    From someone more knowlegeable than me:

    "Equity had an agreement with the Institute of Practitioners of Advertising (IPA) and members of ISBA, this was known as the 1991 agreement, it provided for residuals for artistes engaged in uk commercials in the contract and functioned well, it was used my most casting directors. Regrettably the IPA did not wish to sign another agreement with Equity when the 1991 agreement expired - perhaps it or its members figured they could get cheaper labour if they offered buy outs. Equity cannot force industry bodies to make agreements with it - neither can anyone. Consequently Equity balloted its members who decided to strike on the matter, many members and non-members broke the strike and accepted buy outs. As a consequence we are where we are now. To blame Equity is somewhat misplaced."

    • 25th Aug 2009
    • 5
  • User Deleted

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    Just to mention though, you normally DONT get paid the buyout fee if the ad doesnt get shown. You'd just get the shoot fee.

    • 25th Aug 2009
    • 6
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Thanks for the correction Lainy! You're quite right. If it's shown even once, though, you get it!

    • 25th Aug 2009
    • 7
  • Jessica Winterton

    Actor

    Thank you all for your quick and much appreciated replies! You are all a lot more knowledgeable than I and I salute you!

    Sounds like a bit of a mine field...I'll be asking a lot of questions before I agree to anything. Thanks again, all take care.

    Jess

    • 25th Aug 2009
    • 8
  • Mark Kempner

    Actor

    Firstly, if anyone is NOT a member of Equity, then they have nothing to complain about regarding buyouts...I'm not saying anyone is complaining...but if you are "thinking" about complaining....!!

    Agents are not blameless! Secondly, buyouts were also born from a lot of agents accepting and pushing their clients to take a crap buyout rather than lose the add etc etc

    I recall a case when i was told the fee would be a studio fee and then repeats...it was a big 5 x add campaign and i was the lead actor. Finally after around 6 recalls I got the job...and was then offerd just a 5k buyout...I refused.....then it went up to 10k....I refused....then it went to 15k...and if I didn't accept it I would lose the role! My agent and i discused it, and we agreed that the original deal and offer of repeats had been agreed...so why should we take a buyout....I/we refused and insisted on the repeats deal as first stated. A) I did the role and B) I ended up with a total of around 27k in repeats!

    each case will eb different, but don't be bullied into buyouts by the producer OR YOUR AGENT. However, it is sad but true....the buyout for commercials has become the norm for all the reasons listed above.

    • 26th Aug 2009
    • 9
  • Mark Kempner

    Actor

    ...also meant to say a "GOOD" agent would and should sort this out and protect you!

    • 26th Aug 2009
    • 10
  • Toni Brooks

    Actor

    Talking about a really bad deal - on another site today:

    £300 all media buyout, in perpetuity, WW (ALL MODELS WILL BE UNRECOGNIZABLE) (their caps)

    This is for Nescafe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • 26th Aug 2009
    • 11
  • Natasha Patel

    Actor

    I wanted to ask - you only get a buyout fee if your face is featured for more than 3 seconds ? Is this correct?

    • 18th Apr 2017
    • 12
  • Robert Carretta

    Actor

    I would like to say to anyone reading this,please do not apply for or do low paid ads-the Producers will be laughing all the way to the bank ,as Mark says, and if we just don't do them, the fees will rise!,Hellelulia. -why should you work for peanuts to earn someone else lots of money. Simples peeps.

    • 25th Apr 2017
    • 13