Advertisers won’t look at key issues, say actors

SAG, AFTRA angry about plan for flat fee ad rate

Union actors announced Wednesday that advertisers have failed to address key issues — commercials on cable and the Internet and creation of a monitoring system — during five weeks of negotiations over a new commercial contract.

“Despite detailed presentations and explanations, as well as several accross-the-table and sidebar discussions between the two sides, employers have failed to address the unions’ major concerns,” said the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television & Radio Actors.

The disclosure came at the mid-point of a 10-day “cooling off” period in the talks, which will resume Monday. Both sides agreed to an open-ended extension of the current contract on March 31, four hours before its expiration.

Pay-per-use under fire

SAG and AFTRA also complained that advertisers are insisting on replacing the 35-year-old concept of pay-per-use for ads on broadcast networks with a flat fee for unlimited runs.

They disclosed that employers have proposed a 4.4% increase for principal performers for TV ads, 6.1% for background ac-tors, 7% for Spanish-language use and 15% for unlimited cable use. Advertisers have also proposed radio performers receive a 5% increase in session, wild spot and theatrical/industrial fees.

The unions’ initial salary proposal called for a 20% across-the-board wage increase, among other things.

However, the unions also announced Wednesday they have reached tentative agreements in areas covering radio performers.

On the TV side, SAG and AFTRA said progress has been made in some areas.

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