Production Price for 30-Second Spot Down 3%

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NEW YORK ( -- Good news. It's cheaper to make a commercial.

According to the American Association of Advertising Agencies' (AAAA) 2000 Television Production Cost Survey released today, the average cost to produce national TV commercials in 2000 declined 3% for 30-second spots and 1% for commercials regardless of length.

Rare decrease
Such a decrease has only occured twice before in the 14-year history of the annual report, in 1995 and 1997. Otherwise, the trend has tended to cost increases every year. In 1999 alone, the average production cost for a 30-second spot increased by 16% from the previous year.

The 3% decrease last year represents $11,000 in actual dollars. For national commercials of all lengths, the 1% production cost decrease equals a $2,000 difference from the previous year -- from $308,000 in 1999 to $306,000 in 2000.

Sixty-eight percent, or 1,230 of the 1,807 national commercials (of all lengths) reported in 1999, were 30-second commercials.

Meanwhile, directors' fees per 30-second spot dropped 5% to $21,000 in 2000 compared with 1999, when salaries climbed 16%.

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