If you’re an English voice talent, then you’ve definitely come across this before – how do you make sure your client, who wants to do a digital ad, pays you fairly for your voice in the territories agreed when quoting, if things are so hard to police once they’re out on the web?

There are stories of creative people who’ve been screwed over the years, and for VO talent, the worst is when you do something for a fee that supposes the recording will be used for 12 months, maybe 24, and then forgotten – but isn’t.

If you do a buyout, which many clients are now asking for (most often a single ad, be careful with the wording), you run the risk of having a small phrase, such as the brand name and tagline, showing up on endless other spots.

There’s no sure-fire way to truly stop this, but because English travels so well, getting the client to confirm where they will use a recording is critical. You need to know to speak their language: say geolocked

When approached to voice a spot, ask which countries the spot will be geolocked (aka geofenced). That means which c0untries it will be seen. Digital ads, unlike Game Of Thrones fan theory videos, aren’t run for free on social media – the client is paying for it, and it’s not too hard to get proof that it’s airing in a territory you did not include.

Any client/agency/production company trying to pull a fast one will cop to the fact that you’re savvy to how the game works. Make sure the geofenced/geolocked territories are in your invoice (and also that it’s only for digital and not other media) and if you do run into trouble later, you’ve got something in black and white that gives you leverage in any discussion.

(image from pexel.com)