SAG-AFTRA has brought on Bryan Cranston to back its “Ads Go Union” campaign to persuade advertisers to stop using non-union actors.
“Whether you’re working on a Broadway stage or a soundstage, actors need and should make a fair and decent wage. It’s only right and that’s why I’m standing with my fellow actors in supporting the Ads Go Union campaign,” Cranston said in a video unveiled Wednesday.
“So this message goes out to the advertisers and the ad agencies to do the right thing: Hire a professional. Hire SAG-AFTRA. When you make your ads, make ’em union,” he concluded.
The message was released on the same day that SAG-AFTRA held a demonstration in Times Square against the advertising agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty, three months after the union struck the company. Within the past week, SAG-AFTRA has held similar events in Boston, Detroit, Dallas and Washington, D.C.
The union instructed its 160,000 members on Sept. 20 not to accept any work for BBH, which has been signed to SAG-AFTRA’s commercials contracts since 1999. The strike came two weeks after BBH publicly announced that it had withdrawn from the contract, asserting that the agreement is outdated and accusing the union of being inflexible.
BBH is owned by Publicis Groupe, a multinational communications and marketing company that owns several ad agencies including SAG-AFTRA signatories Saatchi & Saatchi and Leo Burnett. SAG-AFTRA has said that members can work for other signatory Publicis Groupe ad agencies.
The agency, which has produced commercials for Audi, Absolut, Ikea, Samsung, and Virgin Media, has said it does not expect the strike to have any noticeable impact on its company or any ongoing client work.
The strike came as SAG-AFTRA launched its official process to hammer out a contract proposal for its upcoming negotiations on the commercials contract, which represents over $1 billion in annual earnings for union members, by holding a series of “wages and working conditions” meetings for members. SAG-AFTRA’s current deal with the Joint Policy Committee, which represents advertisers and advertising agencies, expires on March 31. The two sides have not yet set a date for starting negotiations.
Watch the full video below.