Random Thoughts 52

Posted on 9/27/2002 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)



September 27, 2002

SuperStock To Close European Offices

SuperStock is moving to close its offices in France, Spain and Germany and turn the sales in
these countries over to sub-agencies that have market dominance in these countries. The
possible closing of wholly-owned offices in other countries is being explored.

SuperStock will not be closing all their wholly-owned offices. In March of this year they
acquired Powerstock in London and merged their UK operations with those of Powerstock. They
intend to continue to operate that company.

More information on the agencies that will be representing SuperStock images in the future and
how these new arrangements will benefit the photographers is expected to be available in the
near future.

SuperStock has also opened a new feature on their website call the "CD Store". On this site
they now represent titles from Thinkstock, Pixtal, Image Source, and Banana Stock. They are in
the process of signing up other RF suppliers and expect to have between 600 and 800 titles
available by Spring of 2003. They also sell single images from these CD's as well as the entire

Currently CD delivery is only available to customers in the U.S. and Canada. They expect to
deliver CD's to customers in the UK in the near future and they will expand sales of CD's to
other countries at the appropriate time.

Masterfile Expands North American Sales Force

At a time when many stock agencies are downsizing, Masterfile is expanding its sales force in
the U.S. and Canada by adding seven new sales and business development people in New York,
Seattle and Toronto. Its sales team now totals 23 professionals.

In September, Masterfile opened a sales office at 245 Park Avenue in New York and hired Ardath
Church (ex-ImageState & Getty/FPG) adnd Michelle Rizzi (ex-Corbis/Stock Market).

In Seattle Ellen Marrett (ex-ImageState, Getty/FPG and Corbis) is responsible for business
development in the western USA.

In Toronto they added four people: Mary Louise MacDonald (ex-Getty/Image Bank), Celine Richard
(ex-Getty/Stone), Sharon Verburg (ex-Getty/Image Bank) and Beth Wright (ex-Photonica & Image

Masterfile president, Steve Pigeon says, "As many stock agencies seem hell-bent on eliminating
the personal experience, Masterfile is determined to increase personal service to clients and
artists, while providing all the digital wizardry that is essential today."

Workbookstock.com Releases New Catalog

The second catalog from workbookstock.com, Book 2, featuring images exclusively from the Co/Op
Service, is now being sent to thousands of qualified stock art buyers in the United States and
Canada. It is the second print promotion from the e-commerce rights-protected stock image site
launched last year. The Co/Op Service represents a tightly-edited group of images available
exclusively through workbookstock.com.

In addition to North American, Book 2 will be distributed throughout the United Kingdom,
Germany, France, Belgium, Japan, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Greece and Turkey.

Dynamic Graphics Names Director of Business Affairs

Dynamic Graphics, Inc. has named Maria Kessler director of business affairs for its stock
imagery division, Creatas, and the company's affiliate, PictureQuest.

Creatas.com offers royalty free photography, footage, illustration and Flash movies.
PictureQuest.com offers both rights-protected and royalty free photography from more than 40 of
the world's leading photo agencies.

Kessler's main responsibilities will be to develop and foster distribution relationships with
stock imagery suppliers and photographers and to direct internal business affairs strategies.
Before joining Dynamic Graphics, Kessler worked at Digitas where she integrated online business
strategy and client services for American Express. She was also pivotal in launching and
managing FPG.com, FPG International's e-commerce site before FPG was purchased by Getty.

Tracking Uses

A photographer wrote recently that he has become more aggressively is his pursuit of copies of
the finished printed pieces of his work as a way of documenting how the customers are using his
images. He believe that many customers are tempted to get a quote for a quarter page and then
use the image for something more expensive. He said, "I have a hunch customers are not always
truthful about this aspect of the process." And he asked, "What do agencies do about this?"

Most agencies request tear sheets for this purpose, and many are aggressive in following up to
make sure the customers actually send them. At Stock Connection we do a lot of follow up and we
get tear sheets in about 1/3 of the cases. There is a question as to how much you want to bug
very busy art directors, and how that will affect the future customer relationship, but at the
same time there is no question that getting copies of tear sheets often pays off. Stock
Connection finds many instances where more use is made of the image than was originally
negotiated and in those cases we bill for an additional fee.

It is our perception that in nearly all cases the error was innocent and the customer was not
purposefully lying. What often happens is that there is a picture buyer in charge of
negotiating rights and once those rights are negotiated that person is finished with the
project. Meanwhile the art director and the client are changing their mind about how they want
to use the image. They decide to use it larger and that message never gets communicated back to
the picture buyer.

Granted that this is sloppy internal procedure, often due to the fact that everyone is
overworked, but as a seller you have no way of knowing this kind of thing is happening, at what
companies, unless you see a copy of the finished product. Thus, we believe it is very important
to follow up each sale, in a friendly way, and try to determine how the image has been used.
The right kind of follow up can build customer relationships and generate additional revenue
from some sales. The important thing is to assume that any mistake was accidental, not

It is also worth noting that old style stock agencies are in a much better position to do this
type of follow up that Internet call centers. The goal of the call center is to close the deal,
get on to the next one, and never look back. The old style agency is focused on customer
service and building relationships.

Streaming Video In Advertising

According to Trend Watch 58% of Internet-active ad and PR agencies see streaming video as the
most important internet change in the next two years.

It is believed that the continued proliferation of broadband technology means that it will be
more and more possible to deliver high-quality video over the Internet. With the ad industry
seemingly in a state of emergency these days many agencies are looking for new lines of

If there is more use of streaming video this could open up new opportunities for those who can
produce video as well as stills.

Copyright © 2002 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of www.selling-stock.com, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to: http://www.jimpickerell.com/Curriculum-Vitae.aspx.  


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