What to look for in FYC ads.

We’re well into pre-award season, with “For Your Consideration” ads springing up all over town. It’s a good reminder that the MBA’s agreement on credits extends to advertising and publicity as well. Though it doesn’t happen often, it’s not unheard of for a project’s print ads, web promotions, and billboards to be in violation of the credits provisions of the Theatrical and Television Basic Agreement (“MBA”).

"I was initially excited when a friend texted me a photo of an FYC billboard for Patsy & Loretta, but then got a quick hit of disappointment when I noticed my name was nowhere on it,” recalled WGAW Board Member Angelina Burnett. “I didn't think much of it until a fellow writer mentioned that it was an MBA violation. A quick email to the Credits Department confirmed this, and they submitted a claim without any further effort on my part. I'm so grateful to the Guild for always having my back."

So, what should you be looking for as a participating writer? For theatrical motion pictures, the MBA generally requires that the writing credits be listed in advertising and promotional materials if the director and/or producer(s) are listed. Before the writing credits are finally determined, the Company is permitted to release such materials with the “good faith” credit, which is the credit that the Company proposes on the Notice of Tentative Writing Credits for the project and which the Company represents is a correct statement of authorship for the project. Once the Guild has made a final determination of writing credits, however, the credits in supplemental materials—such as FYC ads—must reflect the final, Guild-determined writing credits.

It gets a little more complicated with TV productions. When there’s an ad for a single TV motion picture, the writer must be included if the director and/or producers(s) or executive producer(s) are included. In the case of an episodic series, the writer must be included if the director(s) or producer(s) or executive producer(s) are included and the writer has written the same number of scripts (or more) as the director or producer/executive producer has provided such directing or producing services on.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your credits or credits on a project you’ve worked on, be sure to contact our Credits Department.