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Advertising agencies often hire celebrity endorsers for their clients with the intent of featuring the sports or entertainment star in broadcast and digital commercials.

What we have discovered is, during negotiations, ad agencies sometimes overlook publicity clauses in the contracts they negotiate or, worse, fail to activate them.

There isn’t a Hollywood movie or television program made that doesn’t include a publicity clause for its stars. That’s why you’ll see Tom Cruise or Ann Hathaway on late night talk shows promoting their latest flicks.

Studios and networks understand the power of publicity and how it completes a film’s marketing mix, so ad agency talent negotiators should not overlook this critically important tool, because the same thing applies to the brands they represent.

When you have the celebrity locked in for publicity, it will most likely be for a limited amount of time, perhaps even a few hours, so be sure to maximize the earned media you generate for your client. Here are some proven ways to efficiently deliver outstanding media results:

  • Satellite, radio, and Internet media tours optimize the time you have with the celebrity.
  • Media days during which you complete a couple of hours of satellite interviews and have the conduct one-on-one interviews with major TV, radio and Internet media.
  • B-roll and sound bites with the celebrity “behind the scenes” at the ad agency’s commercial shoot that can be distributed to broadcast, radio and Internet media but also repurposed for the client’s web site, Facebook page, Instagram, and other digital platforms.

Public relations managers should remind their opposite numbers at ad agencies how important a publicity clause is in talent contracts. If it’s not there, and the ad agency signs Bradley Cooper to endorse your client’s line of men’s fragrances, you can forget about the tons of earned media coverage your client would have otherwise gotten.

Talent agents are accustomed to seeing publicity clauses in film contracts, so if it’s included in an advertising endorsement deal, agents may not object to a day or two of publicity appearances on behalf of the client. If they do object, talent negotiators should fight for publicity.

Here are some useful tips when dealing with celebrities:

  • Nearly every celebrity likes media exposure, so explain to the talent agent how your publicity will benefit his or her client.
  • Discuss your media targets with the celebrity’s representatives before booking any media interviews. There may be outlets the talent wants to avoid.
  • Most celebrities are accustomed to conducting media interviews on behalf of a film or product they’re endorsing, but be sure your celebrity understands the messages you want delivered and can smoothly weave them into interviews.
  • Make your celebrity completely comfortable. Things like a favorite snack, bottled water, or flowers go a long way to ensuring the celebrity’s enthusiasm for your client’s messages.
  • Ask the celebrity to Tweet what he or she is doing for your client.



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