AICP Guidelines

In 1978 the AICP undertook the task of developing guidelines to be used to foster responsible business practices between production companies and their contracting-clients.

  • AICP Guidelines - Live Action
  • AICP Guidelines - Digital
  • AICP Digital - Best Practices
  • AICP Green Guidelines
    • Environmental care, conservation, and corporate responsibility have prompted many in the production community to search for solutions that are kinder to the planet, and more “green.”  Many AICP member companies, agencies & clients, are adopting responsible practices to effectuate behavioral changes in the way they, and their vendors, do business.

      The guidelines that help fulfill this call to action are outlined in three sections - Communication with your production crew or staff; basic practices your company can implement directly; and advanced recommendations for companies interested in engaging their vendors in environmental stewardship.   

      While some circumstances in production do not allow for certain guidelines to be followed, AICP strongly encourages member companies to implement responsible production practices.  Thank you for adopting sustainable practices on-set and in the office.

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  • AICP Guidelines - Third Party Trademarks
    • AICP recommends that the following guidelines be followed when using third party trademarks in any spec commercials.  The use of such guidelines will minimize the risk that the owner of the third party trademarks will complain about the practice.  Use of these guidelines is not a guarantee that the third party trademark owner will not complain or that the complaints will not ultimately be found to have a legal basis.  AICP suggests that you consult knowledgeable intellectual property attorneys before using any pre-existing intellectual property in a spec commercial.

      1. Disclaimer. A disclaimer statement should be prominently displayed in close proximity to all uses of the spec commercial indicating that the commercial is a spec spot and disclaiming any affiliation with, connection to or sponsorship or endorsement by the trademark owner.  This could be accomplished as a “slate” prior to displaying the commercial. A sample disclaimer is as follows:

      “The following commercial is a spec commercial.  The originator of the commercial is not affiliated with, connected to, nor sponsored or endorsed by    .”

      2.  Super. In addition, AICP recommends that the words “Spec Commercial” be superimposed on the visible screen throughout the entire piece.

      3. No Copyright. All attempts should be made to avoid using materials protected by copyright law in addition to trademark law.  Materials that may be protected by copyright include original works of authorship fixed in a tangible means of expression, such as film footage, literature, music and certain well-known characters (such as Mickey Mouse, Ronald McDonald, the Michelin tire man).  If copyrighted work must be used, all attempts should be made to fit the use into a “fair use” defense.

      4. Limit Access. Attempts should be made to show the spec commercial only to sophisticated industry representatives who can discern the speculative nature of the commercial and not to the public at large.  In this regard, efforts should be made to limit the channels through which the spec commercial is distributed (for instance, keep the commercial off the internet unless it has limited access, restricted to the trade).

      5. No Disparagement. Avoid maligning or tarnishing the brands depicted in the spec commercial.

      6. No Conjoining. Do not conjoin third-party trademarks (such as DR. PEPPER PEPSI) and always use the marks in the proper trademark manner.

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