On Monday evening the APA answered the UK Treasury Committee’s call for evidence on the Government’s coronavirus financial package. A transcript follows below…
Written evidence toward the UK Treasury Committee’s Economic Impact of Coronavirus inquiry submitted by Martin Poyner, Members Services Manager of the Advertising Producers Association – dated 23rd March 2020, 4pm.
1. The Advertising Producers Association (the APA) is the trade body for commercials production companies, encompassing over 270 film, animation, editing, special visual effects, stills, interactive, music and audio-post companies producing commercials for all media. Our mission is to create the best possible business environment for our members here in the UK – awarded for their creative work in advertising more than any other equivalent body internationally and their contribution not just to the business of the advertisers they create films for, but also for inward investment to the UK from clients worldwide, attracted to such world-class talent. Our members are nimble and entrepreneurial businesses, which keep costs down, to the benefit of the agencies and advertisers they work with, largely through engaging freelance staff and crew, who we need to support through this challenging period.
2. On behalf of our 270 member production companies, we thank the Chancellor for the impressive support provided to those in full-time employment. With some more information as to how this assistance is to be accessed (at the time of writing this is unclear) this should help production companies keep their employees safe & hopefully endure this crisis which has befallen all of us.
3. That aside, our industry would be nothing without the incredibly skilled & hard-working freelancers whom our members pull in to expand their workforce, bespoke to any manner of production. Camera crew, producers, art directors, runners, production managers, carpenters, electricians, gaffers, assistant directors, sound recordists, animators, photographers, special effects technicians, prop buyers, script supervisors, composers to name just a few are all essential to the generation of the world-class commercial films our members make. The UK is a world leader in commercial film production thanks to these individuals. Excluding them from any financial safety net risks ruining them, & thereby us.
4. March usually sees a distinct up-turn in commercial film production after a fallow Winter period & countless freelancers have prepared accordingly, only to find diaries empty for the foreseeable future, with no means other than Universal Credit to financially protect themselves or their family, whilst those in full-time employment receive an enormous helping hand.
5. We urge the Government to go further in their measures to protect the UK workforce by ensuring that we generate a system to support our invaluable self-employed colleagues so that we all survive, ready to work as soon as this situation is over, whether that be calculated as a projection from their previous years finances or some other means to calculate a fair income whilst it is impossible for them to do their jobs.