SAG-AFTRA Offers Olive Branch to Ad Industry

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SAG-AFTRA is holding off on filing grievances against advertisers who have not yet adopted the standard digital identifier – dubbed Ad-ID – mandated for ads using union members.

“We know we have employers who have not yet complied, and we will be reaching out to assist them in adopting the system,” said Ray Rodriguez, chief contracts officer for the union.

SAG-AFTRA issued the announcement Tuesday, a day after the ad industry was required to implement Ad-ID.

“We are optimistic that through dialogue and with the help of management and of Ad-ID itself, we can address most non-compliance without moving to grievance and arbitration procedures,” Rodriguez said.

Last April, the union agreed to a three-year deal with the proviso that Ad-ID be included in all commercials as of March 31 — giving the ad industry a one-year grace period to implement the identifier. But the current compliance rate last week was only about 65%, according to Bob Liodice, president and CEO of the Association of National Advertisers and CEO of Ad-ID.

Liodice said Tuesday there has been an acceleration of the compliance activity but could not supply a numerical estimate.

Part of the industry has been reluctant to adapt the system, which tracks performers’ compensation based on how many times and where an ad airs. SAG-AFTRA covers an estimated $1 billion annually in performer compensation for commercials.

“We are confident that adoption of a universal tracking code for commercials will benefit the entire industry including advertisers and SAG-AFTRA,” Rodriguez said. “Ad-ID will simplify workflow and ensure accurate reporting.”

Douglas J. Wood, partner at Reed Smith LLP and lead negotiator for ad industry, gave a strong endorsement of Ad-ID.

“We are pleased the union is moving forward with digital filing and Ad-ID as a standard part of the reporting function,” said Wood. “Both requirements under the collective bargaining agreement are critically important as the union and industry fully embrace the opportunities of the digital age.”

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  1. billrichertW says:

    Identification marks like these, IDs, are tattoos on the arm of the body of the work. They identify the performer forever within the context. These used to be called union bugs when they were required on all movie prints to distribute a movie in theaters in America. Now they are coming to be required of every actor. They can be used as a tool for union data and control of all actors. There could be a time coming after which no actor could appear in video for advertising anywhere without this bug, or the program or ad would not be shown on Internet systems that send digital flow throughout the world. See how fast YouTube identifies a studio-owned film or song and removes it. A non compliant performer or video maker could be blacklisted from all internet productions under an internet “RULE ONE.” The screen actors Guild has what they call peer-to-peer organization, which is really a way of planting a union member in nonunion sets and reporting to the guild the other actors who are working there. Then these actors get called by the union “Management” who “reach out to them” –or “lean on them” – and the studios like this too, as it constrains the competition of independents. This whole system has to be watched closely and vigilantly and noted for what it is, a grab for total control of the digital media world. This would be a derogation of opportunity and freedom for all.

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