By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK A bubble surrounding alleged non-payment of advertising appearance fees between a well-known local celebrity and a recently established pay-as-you-go mobile phone company is threatening to burst open. Aloisius Manetti is claiming that he has not been remunerated properly for appearing in a billboard-sized advertisement endorsing a specific product of Direct Mobile with its headquarters in Klein Windhoek. “I did the company a favour auditioning for a photographic shoot to promote the product some time last year, but have not been properly remunerated by the owner of Direct Mobile. In fact, I was not very keen in doing the shoot,” said the aggrieved Manetti when approached for comment. “No,” responded Direct Mobile sole company director, Carvin Izaks. “Manetti has been paid for his photographic services by the graphic artist in charge of the project in October last year already.” Inquiries in the local advertising world yesterday revealed that people appearing in bill board advertisements can earn up to a cool N$1 500 per shoot, depending on the client’s budget. “In fact, I was not very keen to appear in the advertisement because it brought me in conflict with my employer, who has since accepted the idea of me appearing in the said advertisement,” Manetti, who works as a sales person for a local trucking company and a well known inhabitant of Khomasdal, involved in social upliftment programmes, told New Era. According to Carvin Izaks, who telephonically refused to divulge the amount his company allegedly paid to the male photographic model, Manetti voluntarily took part in the shoot. “I asked him to audition with about six other potential models on a voluntary basis, which he accepted in August last year. “In fact, his wife also took part in the shoot. I paid a lump sum to the artistic and graphic director of the project from which the selected models were supposed to have been paid. “Right now I have no idea what Manetti earned and I could not establish the facts for the female graphic artist is currently in Britain,” Izaks defended his company. According to the production manager of the advertising agency, Advantage McCann, modelling appearance paid by her company can vary between N$200 and N$2 500 per shoot. “Of course it entirely depends on the available budget of a company producing the advertisement. “A one-off print media ad can land a model up to N$200; if it’s a campaign advertisement shoot, the fee is N$500; appearances in a billboard ad can earn a model between N$1 000 and N$1 500 per shoot on condition that the model signs a contract prohibiting him or her from appearing for three years in an advertisement of an opposition company,” Yolanda Lacock told New Era. “I’ve got absolutely nothing to hide because the negotiations between me and Manetti were totally transparent and above board. I have known him for a long time. “In fact, his daughter and his grandson both work for my company. This is really news to me,” Izaks said. The secretary general of the Oruuano Artists Union, Vincent Mwemba, yesterday issued a stern warning against the exploitation of Namibian artists. “Such exploitation of the natural abilities of our people has to summarily stop. Namibian artists have been subjected for far too long to this sort of treatment. On the other hand, Namibians must refrain from getting carried away by glamour alone. “They should read the fine print in any contract handed to them,” Mwemba cautioned. In his opinion people should contact his union if uncertain about such legal matters. “We are there to help and assist ignorant people who are confronted with such unacceptable agreements, be they in writing or verbally,” he warned. Namibian advertising models earn a pittance compared to their South African counterparts. “For a television advertisement, local models can earn up to N$2 500 per shoot, little compared to huge fees being paid in the South African advertising industry,” said Lacock.
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