Because you can’t. It’s not yours.


All imagery costs money. It seems an obvious statement to make but often imagery is confused as being ‘free’ because it was found on Google. Most imagery found on the web will usually belong to someone and that someone will be the legal owners of that image. You use it at your peril!


The simple truth is from the full page campaign image to a pack shot or line illustration, a cost will always be incurred.


It is perfectly normal at the start of a new campaign to ask your agency for an estimate for the work to be carried out.
Typically this includes:


1) A creative fee (the cost for the commercial value of the idea).

2) A cost for design (creating the style the idea will be applied to).

3) A cost for copywriting.

4) A cost for managing the account.

5) A cost for producing artwork.


With the last one there will be a guesstimate of imagery cost - deliberately vague because at the start of a campaign journey (or pitch) the imagery and use of that imagery won’t be fully obvious.


As the project starts to take form a main core image (or series of images) will need to be thought about and budgets applied.
Then the collateral that falls out of the chosen concept will be written and supporting imagery factored in. Often this is where costs for imagery gets overlooked. But every time a request is made for any sort of imagery your agency should explain the impact on budget and the exclusivity of that image to your brand. Below is a quick and dirty guide to what those cost could look like…



A simple line drawing can be done in house but will take longer than normal artwork. Normally you will simply be charged by the hour, however anything more complicated needs to be commissioned. This will be an external cost.


A jobbing illustrator will charge about £300 per day (or £50 per image) for line work depending on the complexity of the image.
A campaign image can run into thousands of pounds depending on the style and the artist. Note: Many illustrators also charge usage fees for their work. We once hired a well known newspaper cartoonist to create a series of 5 cartoons for an internal document based on the clients specific request. They cost £800 each and arrived drawn in pencil on a folded piece of art paper. Honestly, they must have taken the artist 10 minutes each - but his work had a commercial value.



There are specific pack shot companies that charge about £50-100 for a basic pack shot. If you want angles, perspective, lighting and options start looking at the half day rate for a jobbing photographer. Many agencies have a basic photography set-up in-house, but the cost will be similar.



At the concept stage many images and styles will be explored. Just researching and then formatting these images can take days (and that’s before showing the client the chosen concepts). At a pitch level these costs for development will be clawed back in the creative fee IF the agency is successful. A separate cost for the final image (images) will need to be factored into the costs based
on the chosen concept and the intended usage.


If your budget is small you need to let your agency know up front. Depending on exclusivity and specific imagery/photographers, costs can get very expensive. We once had a veterinary client who wanted to commission a specific photographer for a series of karate kicking cow images. The guy charged £50,000 per image and then added a time linked exclusivity fee on top of that!


So how do you decide on the imagery you might use?





Royalty free images are purchased from a library and then can be used throughout your campaign (as long as there are no restrictions). RF imagery can be very cheap but there are downsides. Your competitor can buy the same images and use it how they want. You have no exclusivity. Your choice may be limited. And just trawling for the right image can become expensive - a £30 image can cost you a lot more if 2 days are spent by the agency hunting for a specific image everyone agrees on.


Royalty free imagery can start at as little as £20 an image (or cheaper!) to an average cost of about £450 per A4 image from the better libraries (i.e. GETTY), however RF is often sold by resolution. 72dpi will be cheaper but is for screen use only and will look awful if printed. For an A4 image (or bigger) the highest resolution available should be purchased - this is especially true if manipulation is to take place on the image.


Royalty-free imagery is royalty-free because it tends to be the imagery that is more common or not as technical as Rights Managed images (I’ll tell you about these in a mo). Often the use of RF imagery will be a compromise but with some manipulation and imagination from your agency you can create a cost effective image that is almost original. Most RF imagery is used within collateral to support the messaging and the biggest compromise will always be consistency of style and quality.




RM imagery tends to be better quality and have more commercial value. It often includes shots that jobbing photographers would find hard to achieve or hard to get.


The advantage is, it’s available straight away so when timelines are tight is a great option plus the quality is usually very good. However you are charged per usage, per territory, per license and per the popularity of the photographer/image. If you want exclusive rights that will need to be negotiated separately. You will need to think about duration of use and industry the image will be used in. For limited use it’s fine for smallish budgets but when you go global with exclusive rights over a certain period of time, you will need to dig deep. Often by the time you factor in all of the options it will be cheaper to bite the bullet and go for the full photoshoot. Most agencies would recommend the full photoshoot for campaign imagery.




A photoshoot can be as simple as a glorified pack shot, all the way up to  that perfect campaign image. Photographers can be hired from around £600 a day to ‘blow me that’s expensive’. Every agency has a list of photographers they use on a regular basis but sometimes the concept will need a specialist. However the basics are the same:


The cost of the image needs to cover:

Photographers time (and his reputation)

Location costs (travel, parking, resource etc)

The art directors time

Model costs


Processing (digital files need to be made fit for purpose)

Post photography manipulation


Many specialist photographers will also charge for usage (ie pay a further premium for ownership). Costing a complicated image out can take days even weeks. All that time has to be recouped.


The advantages are you get to control all aspects of the image (as much as possible).



Most studios can photo manipulate imagery to a certain level. Beyond that specialist retouchers or CGI artists will be used to render the final image. CGI imagery or animation will also usually be produced by an external supplier - again the cost of this needs to be carefully considered and factored in.



Any imagery needs to be at a high enough resolution for the use it is intended for. If an image is being created from scratch, the photography and the manipulation all need to be carried out at the highest resolution possible. Library images often have a set resolution so that will dictate the final size of the finished art but a very basic rule for print is 300dpi at the final size (quarter size for Exhibition art).


If you send your agency an image that is 80kb in size this might be ok pretty small on a website but it won’t look very good in print.



Big photo libraries like Getty actively protect their content and have a reputation for chasing ‘lost revenue’ when they discover an unauthorised usage. Even if you download an image from Google that says ‘free for use’ that will not hold much water from their collectors who place the due diligence at your (and your agencies) doorstep. Even Google in it’s terms and conditions puts the responsibility for image usage firmly in the users hands - ‘Google is an aggregator, not a licensing agent’.


So bottom line - be safe kids and make sure your marvellous imagery actually is your imagery…








You win the pitch. You celebrate. You meet the client full of anticipation and ideas.


And the first thing you learn is this:

You will be implementing a Global campaign, locally.


Most agencies have had this meeting and for some it is inevitably a heart-sink moment.  The dreams of award winning creative and the excitement of giving birth to that sparkling new brand quickly fade…


There are of course very good reasons for a company to make the decision to market their brand globally. There are the inevitable cost savings. There is the reinforcement of the brand identity in all markets. And there is consistency in markets that are saturated with different messages. Running a global branding campaign eases duplication of work in each individual market and helps ensure brand leadership. It’s about consistencies and efficiencies.


All is not lost though. From an agency point of view the opportunity for creative is still there in the tactical assets created and the interpretation of the Global brand essence. At HUG we have implemented many Global and International campaigns. (We’ve even won a few awards for them along the way). We have never adopted the ‘not invented here’ mentality and over the years we have helped our clients to overcome some of the pitfalls involved the whole process.


Global campaigns tend to take longer to create and implement and require huge amounts of organisation and cooperation.
Most Healthcare Global campaigns have been researched based on the Global market and sometimes the creative concept is compromised by the process. Your job is to make it sing in your market.


Taking a Global concept/ campaign and making it fit for your market therefore can be complex - so bear the following in mind:


1) Translation


It’s easy to translate copy verbatim. But a straight translation can become clunky or awkward without context and syntax.
Time should be spent thinking about the meaning and the spirit of the words. The buzzword for this is Transcreation.


2) Transcreation


Taking the source words from a Global campaign and interpreting them into the target markets language and context is a fairly complex skill in itself. At the extreme end a complete rethink of the messaging and the copy from the Global guidelines may mean a change to the Global message to make it more effective in the local market. Sometimes this is a step too far for the brand champions.


3) Localisation


This falls slightly between translation and transcreation. It’s more about adapting the language but still saying true to the source copy.


A good Global campaign will avoid obvious pitfalls like colloquialisms and inappropriate brand names (Microsoft’s VISTA meant ‘hen’ or ‘dowdy woman’ in Latvia…) but as part of the localisation we have to be sensitive to other market specific faux pas such as:



Ethnicity. Does the model/location resonate with the specific market?


Gender. Is the specific market mainly male or female? (this may change in different markets).


Decency. Many markets will not tolerate body parts on show or inappropriate clothing. The original global campaign for Nalbix
(a treatment for thrush) was a woman walking down a beach in a bikini. This didn’t go down well in the Middle East.


Alcohol. Some markets do not tolerate alcohol in social imagery.


Gestures. Does the global imagery contain specific hand gestures or body poses? For example the ‘OK’ symbol made with the hand can be seen as offensive in Greece and Turkey and signifies the evil eye in some middle eastern countries.


Colours. Colour is of course very subjective but different countries attach different meanings to most colours. In East Asia white means death or mourning. Black means health and prosperity in the far east. Purple means death and mourning in Brazil…




What can seem like a benign phrase or statement can actually be harmful to a brand.


Electrolux (The Scandinavian vacuum manufacturer) used the phrase ’nothing sucks like an Electrolux’. Sounds fine until you realise they used this phrase in America…


Ford used the line ‘Every car has a high-quality body’. In Belgium this translated as ‘Every car has a high-quality corpse’.


Mitsubishi launched the Pajero in most markets. It was changed to ‘Montero’ in Spain as the original translated name can mean ‘w@nker’.


A morning Latte in German slang is when you wake up in the morning with an erection.


The Honda Fitta became the Honda Jazz after A kind Swede pointed out the word ‘Fitta’ means the female genitalia in it’s crudest form…


Just the context of the language can be poorly received in some countries. A Pay-off line like “I want to succeed…” would fare poorly in countries like China where the collective is more important then the the individual.


To be safe, should your agency have the opportunity to implement (or create) a Global campaign the most important thing you can do is your research. Avoid colloquialisms, fashionable/topical imagery (this will tire very quickly) and complex copy lines.


Even creative executions can be received very differently in different markets. Just check out advertising from the Middle East, Latin countries and Asian cultures and compare to more European and American communications. Illustration style and typography varies (wonderfully) between all these markets and should be considered when working with Global campaigns.


Finally, embrace the challenge. Whatever the Global campaign, you can make it better…

Why can't I just
use that image
I downloaded
from Google?

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Hertfordshire, SG5 1LE


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Thinking about implementing a Global campaign locally?

You’re not the boss of me - ten top tips for being a better leader

Ten top tips for being a better leader


When I was at design college I discovered a lot of things about myself.

I discovered I liked being in a team but that I needed to be influential.

I discovered I was comfortable challenging the wisdom and experience of my tutors - usually with a fair dollop of cynicism and arrogance.

I discovered confidence got you a lot further than just talent.


By the time I left college I knew everything there was to know. My arrogance and confidence were as large as my ego.


Thankfully my first few jobs exposed me to people who not only guided me to be successful, but also to be aware of the people around me and their value. I started full time work for Trebor, the sweet manufacturer. My first boss was a fantastic guy called John and he taught me the importance of appreciating everyone in the work flow and to face every challenge with humour and intelligence. He was also an advocate of the school of ‘it’s sometimes better to ask forgiveness than permission’ and I will never forget him. My line manager was a hugely talented designer/illustrator called Sharon who taught me the value of a kind word and of recognising others contributions. She also pushed me to be the best I could be.


My second job was in pharmaceuticals, in the In-house studio at SmithKline and French. Another inspiring boss that taught me about budget control, presentation skills and how to enjoy the communication process. He also practised and preached various training and NLP (Neuro-linguistic programming) techniques. From these I learnt to control my knee jerk reaction to unforeseen problems and the concerns of people around me. I learnt black and white never exists. And I learnt there is a lot of truth in the saying ‘walk a mile in another man’s shoes…’


In my journey to HUG Advertising I have helped create companies, I have managed large teams, I have guided colleagues through redundancy, bereavement and disaster. I hope I have inspired a few on the way and that my contribution has been worthwhile.


I’ve also observed just about every form of management and leadership there is and now at the age of 50  I think I’m qualified to add a little commentary on what I believe makes a great boss.



This sounds simplistic but too many bosses fail on this simple starting point. Rightly or wrongly your staff follow your lead.



Everyone has an opinion and they reach that opinion for a reason. Listen to what is said, then consider it and be seen to consider it. Don’t just dismiss it out of hand.



Your team need to trust your judgement and guidance. Make sure you know what your team does - even if it’s out of your own comfort zone.



You will often get it wrong but you must make the decision and live with it. Nothing creates uncertainty in the workplace than a boss who can’t make his mind up.



When you cock up (and you will) take ownership of the mistake and do everything you can to demonstrate you are putting things right. Don’t adopt the ’Teflon’ approach to management.



Everyone likes to be told they’re doing a good job. Overpraising your team will make the gesture worthless but the right ‘congratulations on a job well done’ at the right time can lift spirits and invigorate employees. Likewise if the credit for a great job belongs to the team or an individual make sure everyone knows it.



You know your business and to a degree you can predict possible pitfalls. Have a plan in your mind for both best case scenarios but also a contingency for if things go wrong. Your team will find it reassuring when things go tits up that you calmly announce what action is required and you lead the troubleshooting.



We all want to be liked. We want to be one of the gang. But you are the boss and boundaries need to be clear and unquestioned. There should be no ambiguity - you will have to make big decisions on your teams behalf and sometimes that will be hard. To a degree, business really is business.



This is infectious, enjoy your work it will rub off on your team. Be happy, laugh and use good humour in even the most depressing of circumstances. Inspire with your enthusiasm and reassure with your confidence. It will pay dividends.



Most of us are surrounded by amazing, inspirational people both in the workplace and amongst your peers. At times you will realise you have no idea about what to do next. Everyone goes through it but when it happens, seek advise from someone you trust. It doesn’t have to be someone who thinks like you do (in fact sometimes it’s more useful if it’s a polar opposite) but a mentor that can give you another perspective, inspire you or just give you some good old fashioned advise!


Of course the above is a list of broad strokes and there are a hundred more I could list but if you just employ some of the above, your team will be better for it. And so will you.