4A'S: PRODUCTION COSTS FOR TV SPOTS UP BY 6%

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The average cost of producing a national 30-second TV commercial crept upward last year, rising 6% to $278,000, according to an Ameri-can Association of Advertising Agencies survey.

The Four A's 1996 Television Production Cost Survey cited several factors behind the increase, which marked an about-face from 1995's 2% dip to $263,000.

Dorothy Bechtel, VP-Production Services at the Four A's, said the average cost to edit and complete an original 30-second commercial in 1996 rose 7% to $31,000.

"The increase is in post-editing and video finishing," Ms. Bechtel said, adding that this is occurring because of technological advances that allow for additional mod-ification to be made in the editing stages.

Also contributing to the 1996 increase was a rising talent expense. The cost of talent used in :30s last year rose 9% to $12,000 per commercial.

Thirty-second spots repre-sented 68% of the 2,041 national com-mercials of all lengths re-ported in the study. Twenty-one agencies, including all top 10 U.S.

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