Advertisers will soon be able to take advantage of a new waiver for digital low-budget commercial productions.

In a joint announcement, the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) and the Joint Policy Commission on Broadcast Talent Union Relations (JPC) explained that the waiver will run concurrent with the 2016 SAG-AFTRA Commercials Contract through March 31, 2019, and apply to new digital (defined as “Internet and New Media” platforms) commercial products with a budget of $50,000 or less, excluding non-talent-related post-production costs.

If the producer decides to use the waiver, the talent (or his/her representation) must be notified at the time of the audition, although upfront proof of the budget is not required in order to apply. However, producers may be required to submit verification of the budget upon request.

Under the waiver, the maximum period for use of the work performed by the talent extends for one year from the date of the session. Any use past this period can be negotiated with the talent directly. Session and principal use fees as well as edits are also negotiable, while the pension and health contribution is set at 18 percent. No stunts or hazardous work may be performed pursuant to the waiver, with no exclusivity required of the talent.

If the commercial is used in whole or in part in any other media covered by a SAG-AFTRA collective bargaining agreement (such as television or industrial use), full-use fees apply for that medium. Consent must be obtained from the principal performers who appear in the commercial if used in television prior to airing.

Other than the modifications found in the waiver, all other terms and conditions of the 2016 SAG-AFTRA Commercials Contract remain applicable.

To view the waiver, click here.

Why it matters: “While a waiver of this scope is rare, the union and the JPC felt it necessary to create this waiver mid-contract to offer relief to ad agencies that are losing clients to non-signatory ad agencies on digital work,” SAG-AFTRA and JPC explained in a joint statement. “Our hope is that they will now be able to retain this work and maintain those highly creative and productive relationships with advertisers.” The organizations added that the waiver is a way “to experiment with the goal of developing a strong foothold in this area.”