|With the increased use of the internet as a platform for advertising, what is the difference between a Commercial and New Media?|
In the constantly evolving world of content production, it is imperative for our industry to have a clear understanding of which projects are to be classified as “Commercials”. For those involved in both commercial production and the production of entertainment projects, understanding the distinction between the two is critical. With the increase in production of “New Media” projects, we want to reiterate that New Media is “entertainment”, while a promotional piece seen on the internet, or any other platform, is a “commercial”. The platform on which the piece is viewed or distributed is irrelevant to its classification.
• Both SAG-AFTRA and DGA define New Media as original or derivative entertainment projects for the internet. These projects are non-promotional.
• PHBP’s definition of a commercial is “A moving picture work (including film/tape/digital, but excluding music videos), that advertises or promotes a brand, product or service to the general public, regardless of the distribution format/medium/vehicle”. These projects include all forms of advertising/promotion, including jobs for the “internet only”, or any other platform. Extended running times, documentary or narrative storytelling techniques or the presence of other “entertainment” aspects do not change the classification from “Commercial” to “New Media”. The presence of the promotional aspect cements the piece’s classification as a “Commercial”, regardless of the presence of any other influencing characteristic.
Our freelance commercial production employees rely on your PHBP contributions for the eligibility and continuity of PHBP provided health benefits for them and their families. Contributions are never due on New Media projects, but all commercials as defined above require contributions on behalf of all eligible employees.
Your clear designation with your payroll companies is critical toward the proper classification of jobs as either non-promotional entertainment jobs, or promotional commercial jobs, leading to the proper assignment of PHBP freelance employee contributions. We hope that this document will assist in guiding you through this process.
Please reach out to Susan Kaiser at email@example.com, or at 646-370-1431, with any questions.