Conflict of Interest & Exclusivity in Voiceover

When a voiceover artist takes on a voiceover project, they are agreeing to represent the client’s best interests. However, there are times when the artist’s personal or professional interests may come into conflict with the clients. This can create a difficult situation for the artist, as they may feel torn between upholding their own best interests and those of the client.

One potential conflict of interest is when an artist is approached by a competing company about a potential project. In this instance, the artist may have to choose between working for the competitor or passing on the project altogether. Another conflict can arise when the artist is friends or colleagues with the client. In this case, the artist may feel obligated to give the client special treatment or be less critical of their work.

There are a few things that artists can do to help mitigate the potential for conflicts of interest. First, they can create a written contract that outlines the expectations and responsibilities of both parties. This can help to ensure that both parties are aware of the expectations and are held accountable to them. Secondly, artists can be transparent with their clients about any potential conflicts of interest. This will help the client to understand why the artist may be making certain decisions and ensure that there is no misunderstanding.

Ultimately, it is up to the artist to decide whether or not to take on a project that has the potential for a conflict of interest. However, by being proactive and communicating openly with their clients, they can help to avoid any potential issues.

Exclusivity in Voiceover

When it comes to voiceover work, there is no doubt that exclusivity can be a desirable thing for both voice actors and producers. For the client, it helps them have a unique voice in their industry and marketing. For the talent, it can be very lucrative to have such a deal. However, achieving exclusivity is not always as easy as it may seem. In fact, it can be quite challenging to negotiate a voiceover contract that provides the desired level of exclusivity that is fair to all parties.

There are a few things that both voice actors and producers should keep in mind when trying to negotiate an exclusivity clause in a voiceover contract. For voice actors, it is important to remember that exclusivity clauses can be very limiting. If you are not able to secure other work while under exclusivity, you may find yourself struggling to make a living. On the other hand, producers should be aware that exclusivity clauses will be expensive. If a voice actor cannot take on other work during the contract, the producer will have to pay a higher price for the voice actor’s exclusivity.

In the end, whether or not exclusivity is desirable depends on the individual situation. However, it is important to remember that exclusivity is not always possible to achieve, and that both parties involved need to be willing to compromise in order to make it work.

Negotiating Exclusivity Deal Voiceover Contracts

Having spoken to a number of local talent agents, they all agree that negotiating an Exclusivity Deal can be very tricky, it does take experience to make sure that there aren’t any areas that can be misunderstood or misinterpreted by either party.

Here’s some things to consider:

  • Everything must be in writing in the form of either a formal contract or a letter of agreement – verbal agreements are bad news and not good for either party. Make sure that contracts are signed and that everyone involved fully understands them. If you need to seek legal counsel for this, do so. You need to have everything covered in detail.
  • Ascertain whether a once off fee for exclusivity for a specified period of time, or a monthly retainer fee would work best. This would depend on the brand and what the client is asking for.
  • A once off fee for exclusivity could involve all recordings for the duration of the exclusivity period being at a reduced rate (depending on the quantity of recordings), but it should be kept in mind that anything recorded during the that period expires at the end of the agreed time period. This works best if there is a specified number of scripts that is already known and can be calculated for.
  • A monthly retainer fee plus a “Pay As You Go” at normal rates for the client usually works better if there is no minimum guarantee of scripts being recorded. The contract will stay in place as long as the retainer fee is paid.
  • Whichever option is agreed upon, it’s best to set limits and specify dates where both parties can give notice to terminate the agreement. You don’t want to be locked into a contract that is open ended.
  • It should be noted that any conflicting work done prior to signing the agreement should be excluded from exclusivity. If a competitor has already paid for usage, they cannot be told to take their material off air midway through their campaign. Any existing work must be able to run its course without being in breach of any new agreements.  A list of any and all conflicting work with their expiry dates should be included in the agreement.
  • Neither the talent or an agent can be held liable should an agency, production company or client flight material again without their knowledge. If a client asks to renew something that would be a conflict, it’s up to the agent or talent to refuse the renewal if that material now conflicts with a newer contract that is in place.
  • It’s pointless for a client to ask for exclusivity for just one medium as they would not be getting their money’s worth if the talent can’t do radio, but can do TV or online commercials for a competitor. Excluding any medium from the agreement would be subject to negotiation and agreement.

It must be noted that I personally haven’t negotiated exclusivity for myself or any other voice artist I’ve worked with. The advice here is to help guide you in the right direction if this situation ever arises for you.

No one is immune to the potential for conflict of interest in voiceover work, but by being aware of the risks and taking measures to protect oneself, you can minimize the chances of any such conflict arising in the first place.