The Association of Independent Commercial Producers has entered into an agreement with the Directors Guild of America (DGA), the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) and the Teamsters that requires rigorous COVID protocols. (Note that SAG-AFTRA is not a party to this agreement as it separately negotiates with the Joint Policy Committee of the Association of National Advertisers and the American Association of Advertising Agencies.)
The agreement, effective December 15 and in place through April 2020, unless extended or earlier terminated, mandates a negative COVID test result prior to commencement of employment, a zone system with additional testing requirements, a stipend for time spent getting tested, and sick leave compensation. Prior to this agreement, testing of commercial crews, unlike film and television crews, was not required. Health assessment surveys and temperature checks will continue. And each production must include a COVID compliance manager with specialized training who will be responsible for COVID safety compliance and enforcement.
When announcing the new rules, the AICP acknowledged that the requirements will increase production costs. The AICP also urged agencies and advertisers to allow as much lead time as possible between award of the production and the shoot given the pre-shoot testing requirements and the complicated logistics of shooting during the pandemic.
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