Advertisers unite with agencies in Equity row

Britain’s major advertisers are solidly behind the ad industry’s hard-line stance against Equity, which has led to a boycott of commercials work by the actors’ union, it was claimed this week.

Britain’s major advertisers are solidly behind the ad industry’s

hard-line stance against Equity, which has led to a boycott of

commercials work by the actors’ union, it was claimed this week.



The Incorporated Society of British Advertisers says its own poll

covering almost all the country’s large and medium-sized advertisers

reveals a determination to battle on despite the boycott, now in its

fourth month.



ISBA surveyed its 290 members, of whom 67 responded by declaring their

continuing support for the stance taken by their trade body and the

Institute of Practitioners in Advertising.



’We’re very pleased with the result, particularly as responses cover

almost every significant TV advertiser,’ Bob Wootton, ISBA’s director of

media services, said.



The latest survey suggests there will be no early end to the

confrontation sparked by a dispute over voiceover fees, which employers

claim have spiralled out of control.



Meanwhile, ISBA has written to its members urging them to give their

agencies maximum support during any difficulties they may encounter in

the making of ads.



Wootton said: ’Very few advertisers are having difficulties in getting

delivered what they want. In fact, there are so few problems that many

advertisers are saying that, if there is nothing happening at the

negotiating table, they might as well walk away from it. That’s very

dangerous for Equity.’



Union officials insist, however, that the employers’ united front is

continuing to crack and that there is a growing response to its offer to

lift its boycott for any advertisers and agencies willing to work under

an updated version of the 1991 agreement between the two sides.



Equity claimed this week that a number of top ten agencies were among

the 65 signatories declaring they would abide by the agreement, which

the union advertises in Campaign this week.



But Graham Hinton, president of the IPA, claimed its own poll revealed

only four agencies were prepared to sign an Equity agreement. ’These

claims and counter claims are pointless,’ he said.



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