GM Stops Paying Advances for Photo Shoots

© Jerry Avenaim

© Jerry Avenaim

General Motors has stopped paying advances to photographers who shoot its ads, according to a photographer who has done work for the car maker.

GM (through its ad agencies) has asked photographers to officially accept or reject a set of new payment terms. The new terms say GM will “typically” pay ad agencies within 60 to 75 days of an invoice, who will then pay the photographer (or “vendor”):

“VENDOR UNDERSTANDS THAT IT WILL BE PAID ON A SEQUENTIAL LIABILITY BASIS (AGENCY SHALL PAY VENDOR ONCE PAID BY GENERAL MOTORS) PURSUANT TO GENERAL MOTORS’ STANDARD PAYMENT TERMS AND THAT GENERAL MOTORS WILL TYPICALLY PAY AGENCY WITHIN 60-75 DAYS, PROVIDED VENDOR HAS SUBMITTED A PROPER INVOICE.”

The photographer who provided these details (on condition of anonymity) says some GM photos shoots pay $200,000 to $300,000, so the lack of an advance and a two-and-a-half month delay of payment is a big deal.

PDNPulse: GM Stops Paying Advances for Photo Shoots.

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One Response to “GM Stops Paying Advances for Photo Shoots”

  1. Jason Says:

    The business of photography is changing and apparently it is changing fast. According to a recent report by the Nielsen group America’s second-biggest advertiser General Motors cut its advertising by 15% in 2008, and now entering the 2nd quarter of 2009 they are making more changes with payment protocol possibly changing procedures for photographers worldwide.

    2009 is currently being shaped by the economic crisis. In the past few months many people are learning about Ann Leibovitz, however it is not from her images but more from the business of her photography both good and bad. Leibovitz is known for elaborate photo sessions that require high amounts of funding, whether it be lack of understanding or clients not paying she is now in debt for over $15,000,000.00 between law suits for her professional and personal life. Having the money “in-hand” would have perhaps saved her from selling the rights to all her past and future images for a financial loan.

    Just as selling the rights to her images set a benchmark for what a photographers work is worth, this new policy from GM might set the tone for payment practices for all photographers who work in advertising. However what kind of work will be done for business’s that are trying to get top dollar photographers and sets with a “pay you later” approach? GM recently applied for federal aid, are photographers and all those involved in future shoots for GM going to front the money in the hopes that in 75 days they receive full payment from a company that pleaded for financial aid as to stay in business?

    Let us hope this does not become the standard payment practice across the board. Very few photographers, stylists, make up artists, studio owners, and all others involved in shoots are not going front the costs for companies looking to pay over months later down the line, and those who did are currently probably suing Ann Leibovitz.

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