North Hollywood, Calif. -- The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) today released final voluntary in-theater marketing guidelines for movie theaters in the U.S. and Canada (attached). The guidelines are designed to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of the industry's marketing efforts and to promote competition.
The new guidelines call for a maximum trailer length of two minutes; marketing lead time is limited to 150 days prior to release date for trailers and 120 days for all other in-theatre marketing materials. Two exemptions per distributor per year will be allowed for both trailer length and marketing lead time.
In April 2013, NATO's Executive Board voted to move forward to create industry-wide guidelines to encompass marketing lead-time for in-theater marketing materials; trailer length and placement; guest engagement methods; and film checker/auditor conduct. After discussions with executives of the seven largest distributors and other distribution executives, the guidelines were significantly revised to take into account their concerns.
The voluntary guidelines will go into effect for any film released domestically on or after 1 October 2014. (Advertisements already in cinemas for such movies as of the date of this announcement will be grandfathered.)
These guidelines will evolve in response to technological innovations, marketing and advertising trends, competition in the marketplace, and consumer demands. The guidelines are completely voluntary and will be implemented through individual exhibition company policies, which may vary. NATO will serve as an information clearinghouse where distributors may notify the industry of their desire to exercise an exemption under the guidelines.