Advertisers Association tries to clamp down on production costs, AANA boss: ‘the days of the million-dollar TV ad are coming to an end’

AANA CEO Scott McClellan: a critical look at production

The Australian Association of National Advertisers wants to clamp down on advertising production costs.

The advertisers industry body has called a meeting for advertisers on 25 July ‘to share ideas and benchmark against global best practices for managing production in the new media environment’.

According to AANA CEO Scott McClellan, discussions about production costs began back in November and were featured on a Christmas wish-list by members.

He said: “The days of the million dollar production as the accepted norm in our industry appear to be coming to an end. Advertisers are increasingly turning to innovative, lower cost production and distribution techniques to reach their target audience.”

The news comes the day after Tourism Australia released an ad campaign that cost $4m to produce.

McClellan said it was unfair to put the Tourism Australia ad in the category of expensively produced commercials, because it is an ad “mainly produced for an external audience.”

“TA ads fall in a separate category – they are special,” he said. “They are operating in a different market to national advertisers.”

He added in a statement: “As advertiser budgets come under renewed pressure in a tough trading environment, AANA members are saying it’s time to take a critical look at the commercial production process, clarify cost structures and define the cost implications of new production technology.”

Topics of discussion at the event will include the role of the marketer in the production process, talent costs in ‘new media’ platforms, best practice for working with agencies, the production process for social media and digital and ‘adapting global creative for localised needs’.


  1. Stephen Lane
    5 Jun 12
    1:48 pm

  2. Can’t see an issue with this – all that’s needed is for advertisers to drop their $1 million dollar expectations to match their budgets. Get a dose of regional reality. I agree that TA needs to be considered in a category of its own – ideally in a category that insists on accountability and a commercial ROI

  3. Anon
    5 Jun 12
    1:53 pm

  4. Maybe Scott McClellan should come and chat to some of us crew people directly.
    It’s not so much our rates which have gone up as much as the agency mark up on our services.
    On every TVC I see heads of dept Check
    The odd assitant or crew member associated with each Head of dept ie grips, gaffers offsiders 1st AD, Director, DP, Film loader, Sound mixer and boom swinger. Check.
    Gaggle of twenty something chicks with radios who I have no idea what they actually do? Hangers on blow ins all there for the catering possibly there to add dressing to the set? All of them expecting a lunch time feed from the caterers. Not to mention maybe four or so people who are actually the client picking up the tab for all the excess. You can spot the crew easily they are the scruffy ones and are actually working. As for the rest, time to ask exactly just what they are actually doing. Or more importantly at what cost?

  5. bob is a rabbit
    5 Jun 12
    4:31 pm

  6. It really is a simple situation. You get what you pay for. Sure, production can be cheaper, but it will also be nastier. Good people work where they get paid what they are worth. Businesses they don’t get paid adequately won’t be able to retain those people. You see this in media agencies everywhere. That’s why graduates are working on multi-million dollar plans that probably aren’t as effective as they can be. However, it seems clients don’t really care. Because they keep these agencies on. So I guess, if they want suitable shit content to match, keep squeezing the creative agencies. Sooner or later, someone is going to have to be held accountable. I really do feel for the quality marketers out there who struggle on a daily basis getting solid work out of agency partners simply because their own company is too tight to pay.

  7. paul the freelance writer
    5 Jun 12
    5:49 pm

  8. Careful, Anon, they’re the clients. The worst people to have on a shoot.

  9. Client
    5 Jun 12
    10:28 pm

  10. A suit should be duchessing the clients at all time on a shoot – keeps us out of the way