AICP National Guidelines and Best Practices

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.

If you have any questions regarding AICP Guidelines, please contact Denise Gilmartin, Vice President, Business Affairs at

The AICP’s goal is to help ensure that in the fast-paced environment of this industry, members are able to provide services in a straightforward manner to agencies representing advertisers. The following guidelines are designed for informational purposes to alert members to issues to consider, and are intended to provide suggestions on best practices that should benefit all interests involved, including guidance for a competitive and transparent bidding arena that is intended to operate within the confines of U.S. law.

AICP Guidelines - Bidding

Sample Statement for Bids - Updated 

AICP Bulletins - Bidding
1. AICP Update on Omnicom Bidding Portal - 11/15/17
2. AICP Update on Bidding Guidelines & Bidding Language - 2/8/17
3. AICP Position on Fair Bidding Practices - 2/2/17
4. The Bidding Process - 12/19/16
5. Best Practices - Bidding - 11/14/16
6. Omnicom Bidding Portal Information - 3/22/16

See also: The Bidding sections of the AICP National Guidelines - Digital and the AICP National Guidelines - Live Action (located in those secions below) for more information.

The AICP Digital Guidelines specifically address issues fundamental to digital production (i.e. interactive media, visual effects, design, animation, and other forms of digitally produced content), and create a roadmap for the establishment and understanding of good business practices.  Through continued use of these guidelines and explanation of their rationale, producers, agencies and advertisers, will be able to help create understanding and fair industry standards.  Issues covered in these guidelines include: payment terms, creative contributions, intellectual property, schedules, as well as many other production issues.

AICP National Guidelines - Digital

AICP Best Practices - Digital

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.

AICP National Guidelines - Green


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 for projects utilizing live action production. Since that time these guidelines have been recognized as the industry standard.

AICP National Guidelines - Live Action

Memo: Revised AICP Guidelines - 11/27/06

Formerly AICE, the following documents are AICP Post Production's business affairs and technical specs guidelines.

Business Affairs Guidelines & Best Practices

Technical Specs & Technical Guidelines

The following guidelines should be utilized when using third party trademarks in a spec spot. 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 spot.

AICP Guidelines - Using Third Party Trademarks in a Spec Spot

Production companies are engaged by marketers and their agencies for the express purpose of applying their artistry, unique skills and specialised talent to produce a commercial that fully realises the potential of the creative idea to and enhance and breathe life into marketing concepts. Production companies are driven and committed to consistently find new and innovate ways to improve the creative product, find efficient solutions and keep the talent pool available in the advertising industry fresh and strong.

In order to keep focused on these core areas of expertise, business issues should be as standardised and predictable as possible. The following points outline basic principles of contracting a production company to produce a commercial. The topics discussed ensure that advertisers and agencies receive the highest quality product possible, and that production companies are treated fairly in the execution of each project.

Complete Pinciples Document