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Frequently Asked Questions

STATE AND COMMUNITY HEALTH MEDIA CENTER
USING ADS/MATERIALS IN THE MEDIA CENTER
COSTS FOR USING MEDIA CENTER ADS/MATERIALS
11. What are the costs for using ads/materials?
12. What are the talent fees and how much are they?
13. Are there any instances when residual talent fees are not required to use an ad/material?
14. Aren't public service announcements (PSAs) supposed to be free?
15. What are music license fees, and how much are they?
16. How much does tagging, duplication, and shipping cost?
17. Why don't performers donate their time for this kind of ad/material?
18. Why aren't all advertisements run or aired as PSAs?
19. How does media buying work?
20. Are there fees for Internet usage of Media Center ads/materials?
21. What is an ad package and how does it help me save money?
22. Is there a cost to use ads/materials for school and educational purposes?
23. Can we put the ads/materials on our Web site?
24. Can I use the ads/materials in social media?
PLACING ADS/MATERIALS ON THE MEDIA CENTER

  1. What is the State and Community Health Media Center (Media Center)?
    The Media Center is an online repository of advertisements and marketing materials produced by state and local health departments, nonprofit organizations, and federal agencies related to obesity and other chronic diseases. The purpose of the Media Center is to share best practices, audience research, and communication materials to save time and costs for producing and placing tested advertising, developed for physical activity, nutrition, obesity, and chronic disease-related prevention, beyond tobacco. The Media Center complements the Tobacco Media Campaign Resource Center (MCRC).

    Note: The words "ads" and "advertisements" are used interchangeably here to refer to all paid persuasive media messages. The words "commercials" and "spots" are used interchangeably to refer to all ads for television or radio.

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  2. What types of advertisements/materials does the Media Center have in its collection?
    Television and radio commercials, print, outdoor and Web ads, as well as new media promotions such as Web banners are being collected in the Media Center. The Media Center also includes complementary campaign materials such as brochures, press kits, flyers, and talking points among others, when available. Community-specific ads/materials are being collected to inform and inspire additional ads/materials.

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  3. What is the advantage of using the Media Center for ad/material selection and placement?
    The Media Center provides a "one-stop-shop" for organizations searching for audience-tested materials. Its intent is to make finding, reviewing, choosing, and placing these advertisements/materials in a wide variety of individual media markets both easy and cost-effective. Through its ease of use and growing database of advertisements/materials, the Media Center shares best practices, audience research, and communication materials to cut time and costs for producing and placing audience tested advertising. Ads/materials in the Media Center receive wider recognition and ad/material placement.

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  4. What information is in the Media Center database?
    You can use the Media Center database to browse the ads and materials in the collection, mark advertisements of interest, and request cost quotes. The database default is to search only current materials that are available for use in physical activity, nutrition, obesity, and chronic disease-related prevention efforts, beyond tobacco. You will also have the ability to search older ads/materials, ad/material concepts, and ads/materials that are no longer available. This function is useful if you are seeking background information, creative inspiration, approaches or want to research a specific population, cost range, language, or other considerations.

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  5. Who can use the Media Center materials?
    The Media Center may be used by nonprofit organizations or government agencies to promote healthy lifestyles and reduce obesity and chronic diseases. Each organization or agency must sign a use agreement specifying the intended use of the materials and obligating the user to pay all associated costs (i.e., talent, photographer, music fees; tagging, duplicating, and shipping expenses). Per the licensing agreements with the original producers of the materials, for-profit organizations are not allowed to use any materials other than those produced directly by CDC. Permission for these for-profit organizations to use CDC materials will be determined on a case-by-case basis and may not be granted.

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  6. Do I need an advertising agency to help me select and place materials?
    No. An agency is not necessary to successfully select, buy, place or evaluate any of the materials found on the Media Center. Please contact the Media Center with any questions you may have about any ads/materials.

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  7. With so many ads/materials available, how do I determine which ad/material to use?
    The Media Center offers many resources to help you determine which ads are most appropriate for your campaign. The database contains detailed information about the collection.

    Ads/materials currently bought out and "in cycle" (see Question #21) are less expensive because you are sharing costs with other users. There are also ads/materials that have no talent fees at all. You can view these ads/materials by clicking the Free or Temporarily Free (in cycle) box under the Cost Range item on the search page.

    The Media Center also offers technical assistance to help you select and test materials appropriate for your efforts. Contact the Media Center for more information.

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  8. Once I've selected the ads/materials I want to use, how do I order them?
    To order an ad/material from the Media Center, you must first request a username and password. While anyone can search the ads/materials on the Media Center, only authorized users are able to review and order ads/materials. After you have received your username and password, have searched the database and found ads/materials you would like, you will need to add these to your Requested Ads list. At this point, you will be asked to provide information on how you plan to use the ad(s)/material(s) so that we can provide you with an accurate estimate of the costs you will incur.

    You are strongly encouraged to audience test ads/materials in your community before you pay the use fees. Preview files are available for testing free of charge.

    When you have tested and selected the ads or materials you wish to use, the Media Center will send you a use agreement that confirms your obligation to pay the associated costs. A person authorized to bind your organization to legal agreements must sign this document. We will not be able to start processing your order (e.g., tagging, duplicating) until we receive the signed copy of this agreement. Once this agreement has been signed, you are obligated to pay the talent fees even if you decide later not to use a particular ad/material.

    Once we receive your signed agreement, we will tag and duplicate your materials as requested (see Question #19). Turnaround normally is 5–10 business days. If required, tapes, DVDs, or CDs will be shipped via overnight delivery to you or the media outlets or printing vendors you specify at your expense. The entire process, from the day we first receive your signed order, usually takes about 2 weeks.

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  9. What if I want to change some of the words in a commercial or just use part of it to make my own spot?
    Any changes to the body of the ad/material—words or images—must be approved in advance by the original producing agency as well as the original sponsoring organization. This approval is determined on a case-by-case basis, and permission to make changes to the content of the ad/material is not always granted. Approval to translate ads/materials into a different language normally is granted, with final review of the translation by the producing agency or organization.

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  10. Can I add the name of my organization to each ad/material?
    The Federal Communications Commission requires that each ad/material be identified with the name of its sponsoring organization. This sponsor’s identification and, in some cases, contact information is called a tag. The tag must not mention the name of any specific government officials (governors, mayors, etc.) because the ads/materials are not to be used for political purposes. Local radio stations may tag radio ads "live" for free.

    Upon request, the Media Center can add your tag to each of the ads/materials you order for a fee (see Question 17). Please contact the Media Center for cost estimates and additional information regarding ad/material tags.

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  11. What are the costs for using ads/materials?
    Ads/materials in the Media Center will often have licensing agreements to cover talent costs that users need to abide by. The licensing fees vary depending upon the ads/materials, the length of time it will run, geographic region, and a variety of other factors (see Question 12). However, the licensing fees to use ads/materials that are already produced and tested are considerably less expensive than creating and testing new ads/materials.

    Historically, the entertainment and media fields required additional payment for talent, music, and other elements of a completed production based on its re-use or re-broadcast. These are called residual payments or residuals. Many of the ads/materials in the Media Center were produced under agreements made between the producers, unions, and the people providing many of the necessary elements to bring the production together (i.e. actors and composers). When this is the case, you will need to pay the residual fees to use the ads/materials. In addition to the residual fees (see Question 13), there may be additional costs for talent, music, tagging and duplication (see Question 16 and Question 17).

    The Media Center will help you choose which materials are right for your organization and provide an estimate for the fees necessary for the use of the ads/materials.

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  12. What are the talent fees and how much are they?
    Actors, models, musicians and performers in the ads are paid "talent fees," both when the ads are originally produced and when they are reused. In most cases, these performers are members of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) or the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA). These unions govern the minimum charges for each type of ad/material use.

    The dollar amount of the talent fees for each ad/material is determined by a number of factors, including:
    • The Number of Performers in the Ad/Material
    • The Rate Each Performer Charges
    • The Type of Use
      This may include paid use on broadcast network affiliates, the Internet, social media, cable, use as a public service announcement, use in theaters or schools, etc.
    • The Music Fee (if applicable)
    The Media Center will provide estimates of talent fees for each ad/material you request based on how you expect to use it. The exact cost will not be determined until rates are negotiated individually for each specific use.

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  13. Are there any instances when residual talent fees are not required to use an ad/material?
    Yes. In some cases, nonunion performers may be paid a single fee for all uses of the ad/material. This is called a buy-out, and under this type of agreement, no further talent fees are due. There are also times when organizations will "buy-out" an ad/material that includes union talent fees for a specified period of time (typically 1 year). When this is the case, the ad/material is referred to as being "in cycle." The Media Center has compiled all of these "free" ads/materials onto appropriate formats for educational use or for broadcast. To search just the "free" ads/materials, click the Free or Temporarily Free (in cycle) box under the Cost Range item on the search page.

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  14. Aren't public service announcements (PSAs) supposed to be free?
    Public service announcements (PSAs) are defined as any communication intended for the public good that is aired or published free of charge. PSAs are not defined by their content; only by their nonpaid placement. The placement of the ad/materials, not the content, is free.

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  15. What are music license fees, and how much are they?
    Just like "residual payments" for actors and performers (see Question 10), musical score composers or music licensing companies also sometimes contractually require additional payment for re-use of music in ads or other electronic media. Please feel free to contact the Media Center with any questions you may have concerning the cost of using any materials.

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  16. How much does tagging, duplication, and shipping cost?
    Tagging costs vary based on a number of factors including the following:
    • Whether the ad/material needs to be re-narrated (TV or radio)
    • Whether the Media Center is creating the tag (text and/or a logo) or it is being provided
    • Number of characters (letters, numbers, symbols) in the tag and the font size required
    Please contact the Media Center for an estimate for tagging your ad(s)/material(s).

    Duplication costs vary based on the media output format. The Media Center will provide electronic, downloadable print and broadcast ready files through an FTP site at no cost. Print ad/material files that are small enough may also be e-mailed at no cost.

    Requests for "hardcopy" formats (DVD, CD, videotape) will incur a duplication fee and shipping costs. Please contact the Media Center for an estimate.

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  17. Why don't performers donate their time for this kind of ad/material?
    The SAG does not allow members to donate their services entirely because, in the past, there have been cases with other public service causes in which actors’ services were misused. Some performers are motivated to appear in commercials because of their own personal experiences and will normally accept the minimum "scale" payments. For some actors in ads, this is their job, and they charge accordingly.

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  18. Why aren't all advertisements run or aired as PSAs?
    The availability of donated air time is a primary factor in when PSAs will air. PSAs often are aired during off-hours and during times that cannot be easily sold to regular advertisers, such as in the middle of the night. These times are determined by the radio and television stations airing the spots —not the organization providing the spots. Sometimes individual stations will agree to air PSAs throughout the day, but usually it is more effective to buy air time on a station and work with a station's staff regarding when commercials will air to ensure that your message is reaching your target audience with sufficient reach and frequency. By paying for the air time, the spot becomes a paid commercial, not a PSA.

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  19. How does media buying work?
    Media buying is the act of negotiating and securing advertising space on a television station, radio station, billboard, the Web, or other media outlet in an effort to distribute an advertising message to a targeted audience. The negotiation of the payment and rate for the placement can be handled directly between you and the media outlet or through a professional media buyer who often can negotiation better rates. Many advertising agencies retain media buyers on staff to help expedite the payment and placement of media for their clients.

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  20. Are there fees for Internet usage of Media Center ads/materials?
    Yes. Talent and licensing fees still apply and are determined by how the ad/material is used (see Question 13). To determine the cost for the use of a specific ad/material, you will need to login and submit a request for quote.

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  21. What is an ad package and how does it help me save money?
    To help make paid advertising campaigns easier and more affordable; the Media Center sometimes offers a package of ads at reduced cost. For these packages, the Media Center selects a set of ads on a particular theme and pays some or all of the talent fees associated with the use of these ads for a specified period of time (usually one year). Media Center customers are then responsible only for covering the costs for tagging and duplication (see Question 17). Please contact the Media Center for information about current ad packages.

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  22. Is there a cost to use ads/materials for school and educational purposes?
    Yes. These uses are not free. The Media Center has a special agreement with the union representing actors —SAG— to allow use of the ads in schools at PSA rates. Other uses, such as in theaters, sports arenas, health care clinics and offices, community centers, etc., require payment under "theatrical and industrial use" fees. This is a more expensive rate, but it covers 21 months of use. The Media Center free ads may be used for these purposes without any fees (see Question 14 and Question 21).

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  23. Can we put the ads/materials on our Web site?
    Unless the ad/material is "in-cycle" (see Question 13), Internet usage of ads in the Media Center is not free. These uses must be negotiated with the individual performers, models, and photographers in each ad/material. These talent fees are separate and in addition to fees you may have incurred for the primary use of the ad/material (i.e., television or radio PSA and print or billboard ad/material).

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  24. Can I use the ads/materials in social media?
    Just like all other media outlets, using ads/materials on social media sites, i.e. banner ads, Facebook, Tumbler, etc., often requires you to negotiate and purchase space. In addition, you will, in most cases, need to pay residual fees to use the ad/material on the site. Please contact the Media Center with any questions you have regarding ad/material placement via social media (see Question 13 and Question 16).

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  25. How do I place ads that I have produced into the Media Center?
    Placing your ads/materials in the Media Center allows other communities, states, and organizations to take advantage of the time and expense that you have put into producing high-quality materials. This exposure can help to build wider recognition of your ads/materials. If you represent a nonprofit organization or government agency and have materials to share, the first step is to complete the online submission form. When we receive your completed form, we will follow up with you to request an electronic file or link to your ad(s)/material(s). This information will be shared with the Media Center Steering Committee responsible for reviewing ads/materials and determining if they are appropriate for inclusion in the Media Center.

    If the Media Center Steering Committee accepts your ad(s)//material(s), we will send you a licensing agreement that allows the CDC nonexclusive rights to redistribute your materials. A representative from your organization who is authorized to bind your organization to legal agreements must sign this document. You will then be asked to send us the ad/material source files along with additional detailed information about the audience research, performers, music, models, themes, target audiences, or other considerations for each ad/material.

    Organizations that have placed ads/materials in the Media Center have done so as a service to others working on physical activity, nutrition, obesity, or healthy-living efforts. There is no cost to the producing organization to place ads/materials in the Media Center nor is there any payment to the producing organization to include ads/materials in the collection. Any talent or other usage fees for use of the ads/materials are incurred by the organization that uses the ads/materials.

    We receive many inquiries from individuals, advertising agencies, schools, etc., that have produced materials and want to include them in the Media Center. Unfortunately, most of these materials are not of broadcast quality, and most are not based on rigorous research and testing. Therefore, we restrict materials that we accept into the Media Center to only those produced by state and local government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and federal agencies. If you are from an entity other than a government or nonprofit (health) organization and have produced high-quality ads/materials, and if you have research to demonstrate their effectiveness, please contact the Media Center to discuss submission to the Media Center. Exceptions to this policy will be made on a case-by-case basis and may not be granted.

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  26. Additional Information
    If you have other questions about the Media Center that have not been answered above, contact us:

    State and Community Health Media Center
    MS S107-5
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    4770 Buford Highway
    Atlanta, GA 30341

    E-mail: schmc@cdc.gov

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For information about nutrition, physical activity, and obesity, visit the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity. Also, you may refer to Office on Smoking and Health (OSH) for additional information on smoking and tobacco use.
Media Center Help

Contact the Media Center:

  • State and Community Health Media Center
    MS S107-5
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    4770 Buford Highway
    Atlanta, GA 30341
  • schmc@cdc.gov
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