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Would you charge a client for this?

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Craig Wall
Would you charge a client for this?
on Sep 12, 2010 at 10:15:34 pm

Question.

I have done mostly B2B stuff, so I don't have much experience on this from a billing perspective.

I created an award winning TV commercial for a telecom company that was featured regionally during the Super Bowl. I did the project on behalf of an ad agency.

Well in some subsequent commercials the ad agency went low budget and didn't engage me.

BUT...they did use the 3d logo that I designed (without notifying me)

I am poised to send the ad agency a bill. Would you?

Life is full of funny particles.


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Would you charge a client for this?
on Sep 13, 2010 at 12:15:00 am

It depends. Were you working at the ad agency when you created the logo? It's not clear from your wording. If so, the 3d logo was done as "work for hire", meaning the agency owns anything you created while working for them (as an employee, is what I mean).

If the 3D logo was created as a freelance employer for the ad agency, and you billed them for the initial project (of which the 3d logo was part), and you didn't stipulate in the contract that usage of the logo was granted only as part of an ongoing campaign, or was licensed to the agency on a per commercial basis, you probably don't gave a strong case. It would have to be clear that the logo was only licensed for the one commercial (much the way music has a needle drop license).

Either way, you most likely won't do any more work for the agency if you send them a bill. You're better off calling the Art Director (or whoever the project manager was), and voicing your dismay, rather than just sending a bill. You'll come off as more professional, and keep the door open for future work, no matter how the dice roll. Good luck!

Joe Bourke
Creative Director / Multimedia Specialist
B&S Exhibits and Multimedia
bs-exhibits.com


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Craig Wall
Re: Would you charge a client for this?
on Sep 13, 2010 at 12:27:31 am

Joe, thanks for your reply.

I was not working in-house.

I know it would be burning a bridge...but they've got some cheap in-house talent now.

Nevertheless as I've thought about it I decided against it.

Life is full of funny particles.


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Would you charge a client for this?
on Sep 13, 2010 at 1:25:53 pm

I think it's a painful, but wise choice. Cheap in-house talent has a way of moving on quickly as soon as a higher paying position pops up. By doing the classy thing, you position yourself to get the agency back (if you want them) once the cheap talent goes south.

Joe Bourke
Creative Director / Multimedia Specialist
B&S Exhibits and Multimedia
bs-exhibits.com


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Steve Roberts
Re: Would you charge a client for this?
on Sep 13, 2010 at 9:38:37 pm

I agree.

If you want business from them, give them a call, be top of mind, have lunch, that sort of thing. Remind them that you're the go-to guy for high-quality work. You could look at it like this: you'd make more money than you would if you had stewed over it and didn't keep in touch.

By the way, clients assume that a logo is theirs forever They're pretty territorial about it. Can you really see any client wanting to pay a designer each time they use a logo? So ... next time you'll anticipate this situation and bill for perpetual usage. :-)



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