×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

SAG-AFTRA, Ad Industry Quietly Launch Contract Negotiations

SAG-AFTRA and the advertising industry are quietly launching commercial contract talks on Wednesday, six weeks before the current master contract expires on March 31.

Both sides have declined to comment on the talks, which will take place in New York City, and have already agreed to a news blackout until there’s a deal in place. SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris is leading the negotiating committee for the union.

The current contract covers roughly $1 billion in annual earnings for performers. The union said in 2016 that the current three-year contract contained “more than $200 million” in pay hikes for members, including a 7% hike in minimum wage rates and a 1.2% increase in employer contributions to health and retirements funds.

SAG-AFTRA has been mobilizing members through an acrimonious strike against ad agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty. BBH abandoned its union contract in September, asserting that the agreement was outdated and accusing SAG-AFTRA of being inflexible. SAG-AFTRA told its members not to work for BBH, which has produced commercials for Audi, Absolut, Ikea, Samsung, and Virgin Media.

The union has held dozens of protests against BHH; a recent rally at the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles drew nearly 1,000 members. SAG-AFTRA also took out a full-page ad unveiled Wednesday in the Wall Street Journal, similar to one in Variety last week.

Signers of the statement of support include Tom Hanks, Ryan Gosling, George Clooney, Jennifer Aniston, Alec Baldwin, Rachel Brosnahan, and Octavia Spencer. More than 5,000 of SAG-AFTRA’s 160,000 members have also signed the ad.

“We stand united with our fellow performers who work in commercials and seek access to fair wages, safe sets, access to healthcare, and a meaningful pension,” the statement said. “It’s time for advertisers and agencies like Bartle Bogle Hegarty Inc. to do the right thing. When you make an ad, make it union.”

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • The Mentalist

    #NotWorthLess: 'I Was Great and Deserve to Be Paid the Same'

    Women writers, producers and assistants across Twitter turned the hashtag #NotWorthLess into a trend Wednesday, shining a light on issues of pay inequality in the entertainment business. Sparked by screenwriter Adele Lim’s recent decision to walk away from the “Crazy Rich Asians” sequel in protest of being paid less than her male co-writer, dozens of [...]

  • does self-described "family brands" business Hasbro

    With Hasbro Acquisition, Is eOne Planning to Offload Family-Unfriendly Properties?

    Hasbro’s $4 billion acquisition of eOne in August instantly put the Canadian toy giant in the league of major entertainment and content companies thanks to eOne’s arsenal of IP assets in music, television and film. But does the self-described “family brands” business that’s home to The Game of Life and My Little Pony align with [...]

  • Mariah Carey Tracee Ellis Ross

    Mariah Carey, Tracee Ellis Ross Celebrate Biracial Heritage at “Mixed-ish” Premiere

    Mariah Carey and Tracee Ellis Ross embraced their “ish” at Tuesday night’s series premiere event for ABC’s “Mixed-ish” by reflecting on how their biracial identity makes working on the new show even more personal. “I’m just so thankful that this show exists,” Carey told the assembled crowd during a Q&A with series creator Kenya Barris. [...]

  • THE BACHELORETTE - "The Bachelorette: Season

    'The Bachelor': ABC Reality Boss Talks Ratings Success, Diversity Backlash

    Last night, Peter Weber was unveiled, perhaps unsurprisingly, as the next Bachelor during the season finale of “Bachelor in Paradise.” Weber’s selection coincided with a season-high rating for “Paradise,” and caps a solid ratings summer for the “Bachelor” franchise. As ratings have been in decline across the board this summer, “The Bachelorette” and “Bachelor in [...]

  • Raising Dion

    TV News Roundup: Netflix Releases 'Raising Dion' Trailer

    In today’s TV news roundup, Netflix releases “Raising Dion’s” trailer and announces a number of premiere dates for its original series. DATES Netflix announced the premiere dates for several of its new and returning original series: Season 2 of “Carmen Sandiego” will launch Oct. 1; Deon Cole’s standup special “Deon Cole: Cole Hearted” will launch [...]

  • Jim Parrack

    '9-1-1: Lone Star' Adds 'True Blood' Alum Jim Parrack

    Fox’s “9-1-1: Lone Star” continues to round out its main cast. Jim Parrack has joined the upcoming drama in a series regular role. He joins previously announced series leads Rob Lowe and Liv Tyler. In the series, Lowe stars as Capt. Owen Strand, a sophisticated New York fireman who, along with his adult son, re-locates [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content