A copy of the letter is with ETBE. The letter goes on to say that an AOPH (Agency owned production house) has access to every information including the competitive bids from independent production companies. “They have a clear and dangerous advantage. If reports from around the world are to be believed, AOPHs are breaking rules to solicit business,” the letter said.
“It is also not unheard off that some very high-ranking bosses in some network agencies have mandated creative directors from their teams to ensure increased billing via AOPH, thereby sacrificing any scope of them seeking fair deals for Advertisers and/or best talent in the industry,” the letter further stated.
“It is important to highlight certain unethical and mal-practices, which are being implemented by some of the Network and Marketing Agencies so as to promote the Production House owned/controlled by them. Most Advertisers require for every project to have at least three bids/quotes. Unfortunately, all quotes are submitted to the Agencies before the shortlisted ones are shared with the Advertiser,” the letter said.
According to the letter, the confidential information is also passed on to the AOPH, which then has access to all competitive quotes, directors’ treatment notes, location pictures, design elements and everything else that helps AOPH manipulate their own bids and the treatment notes to cheat advertisers and manipulate their preferences. It alleged that to keep reputed Independent Production Houses away from the bids, some Network Agencies were suspected of misinforming their clients about the director’s interest and availability to promote their AOPH.
“There have been cases where some of the Network Production Companies have misguided Independent Production Companies about the budget, which then portrays the Independent Production Companies in bad light thereby diverting projects to some of their Network AOPH,” the letter further claimed.
The ASAP is a body that engages with various stakeholders like advertisers, agencies, creative professionals, etc to promote the interests of the Advertising Film Production industry in India.