×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

SAG-AFTRA Rally Against Ad Agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty Draws Nearly 1,000

SAG-AFTRA is keeping up the pressure on the advertising agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH), holding a spirited mid-day rally at the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles.

Reps for the union said the noon event on Wednesday drew sign-ups from nearly 1,000 members and supporters at national headquarters on Wilshire Boulevard, followed by a two-block march to a stage next to the tar pits and a 45-minute rally.

SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris led the rally, concluding with chants of “We want a contract and we want it now!”

Carteris opened the rally by noting that BBH had abandoned a union contract that it had been signatory to for nearly two decades, which has led to a four-month strike.

“Your presence here today makes a statement: that we won’t have our livelihoods sacrificed for corporate profits,” she said. “We refuse to accept anything less than being paid fairly for the work we do.”

The event included speeches from actor Patrick Fabian, SAG-AFTRA national executive director David White, and leaders from the Teamsters, American Federation of Musicians, and the Intl. Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees.

The union instructed its 160,000 members on Sept. 20 not to accept any work for BBH, which had 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 The strike came two weeks after BBH publicly announced that it had withdrawn from the contract, asserting that the agreement is outdated and accusing the union of being inflexible.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. The agency has produced commercials for Audi, Absolut, Ikea, Samsung, and Virgin Media.

SAG-AFTRA has been ramping up activity on the commercials front, where it faces the challenge of advertisers using non-union actors. It’s held two dozen demonstrations and has brought on Bryan Cranston in a video backing its “Ads Go Union” campaign to persuade advertisers to stop using non-union actors.

SAG-AFTRA is prepping for a successor deal on its commercials contract, which represents over $1 billion in annual earnings for union members. SAG-AFTRA’s current deal with the Joint Policy Committee, which represents advertisers and advertising agencies, expires on March 31. The two sides will begin meeting in New York next month.

Carteris told Variety after the event, “People are paying attention to this issue. We’re seeing a lot of support from other unions in the industry and outside of our industry because people realize that we’re stronger together. I think we’re seeing a major shift in this country.”

White said SAG-AFTRA has complained to the National Labor Relations Board about alleged unfair labor practices by BBH.

“The labor movement is reinvigorated in 2019,” he told the rally. “The struggle that we have engaged in for the last century is just as real now as it was when unions first began organizing.”

More TV

  • Bill Hader Barry

    WGA Awards 2019: Announcing Winners Live

    The 71st annual Writers Guild Awards are underway at dual ceremonies at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. and at the Edison Ballroom in New York City. Chelsea Peretti hosted the West Coast ceremonies while Roy Wood Jr. was the emcee in New York Original screenplay nominees are Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma”; Adam McKay’s [...]

  • 50 Cent Power

    NYPD Officer Under Investigation for Allegedly Telling Police to Shoot 50 Cent 'on Sight'

    A New York City precinct commander is under investigation for allegedly telling officers to shoot rapper 50 Cent on sight, a police rep confirmed to Variety on Sunday. “The matter is under internal review,” an NYPD rep said, declining to answer further questions. Deputy Inspector Emanuel Gonzalez is accused of telling officers during a June 7 roll [...]

  • Bohemian Rhapsody

    'Bohemian Rhapsody,' 'Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Among Cinema Audio Society Winners

    Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” won the Cinema Audio Society’s top prize for sound mixing at Saturday night’s 55th annual CAS Awards. The film is Oscar-nominated for sound mixing this year along with “Black Panther,” “First Man,” “Roma” and “A Star Is Born.” In a surprise over heavy-hitters “Incredibles 2” and “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” Wes [...]

  • Marvelous Mrs Maisel Vice

    'Vice,' 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Lead Make-Up and Hair Stylists Guild Awards Winners

    Adam McKay’s Dick Cheney biopic “Vice,” starring Oscar nominees Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Sam Rockwell, won two awards at the sixth annual Make-Up and Hair Stylists Guild Awards Saturday night. The film won for best period and/or character makeup as well as special makeup effects. “Mary Queen of Scots” received the prize for period [...]

  • Jussie Smollett Good Morning America

    Jussie Smollett Angrily Denies Complicity in Attack

    Attorneys for “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett issued a statement Saturday denying that he orchestrated his Jan. 29 assault, and saying he is “angered” and “devastated” by recent developments in the case. Chicago police want to interview Smollett, after learning new evidence from two Nigerian brothers who were released on Friday night. Local media outlets have [...]

  • Jussie Smollett Empire

    Chicago Police Want to Talk to Jussie Smollett as New Evidence Emerges

    Chicago police are seeking to re-interview “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, after new evidence emerged in his alleged assault. Smollett has claimed that two men attacked him at 2 a.m. on Jan. 29, yelled racial and homophobic slurs, poured bleach on him, and put a noose around his neck. The Chicago Police Department has consistently said [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content