Cracks apparent in Equity dispute

The dispute between Equity and the advertising industry appears to be petering out amid claim and counter-claim that each side’s resolve is crumbling.

The dispute between Equity and the advertising industry appears to

be petering out amid claim and counter-claim that each side’s resolve is

crumbling.



A survey claims to reveal a split in the industry’s opposition to

Equity’s seven-month boycott of commercials-making in the UK in a row

over voiceover fees. At the same time, it is taking its toll on

background artists’ agents, one of which has withdrawn support for

Equity.



Equity has been dealt a further blow by Enn Reitel, the UK’s busiest

voiceover artist, who is quitting the union, which he claimed was ’a

closed shop run on fear’.



According to research by the Personal Managers’ Association among about

70 of its members handling artists for commercials work, more than 200

films have been made in the past three months as a result of agencies

and advertisers agreeing to work under an updated version of the 1991

agreement between employers and the actors’ union.



The PMA claimed its findings showed many agencies were being duped into

supporting the official line while rival shops - many of them members of

the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising - were willing to sign up

to the amended agreement.



Agencies named by the PMA as having made commercials under the revised

terms include Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper, GGT, Poulters, the Leith Agency,

TBWA Simons Palmer and WWAV Rapp Collins.



Advertisers include Toyota, Peugeot, Nissan, Mitsubishi, British

Midland, Marks & Spencer, McCain Foods, Nintendo, Sony PlayStation, the

Sunday Telegraph and the Sunday Times.



Angela Adler, liaison sec-retary for the PMA, said: ’Those agencies

which are underwriting their scripts and making do with indifferent

talent out of misplaced loyalty should think again.’



However, heads of TV at some of the agencies named as going along with

the Equity deal insisted that they had done so only reluctantly in a few

’isolated cases’.



Graham Hinton, the IPA president, said: ’Agencies have a responsibility

to service their clients. The IPA is a trade body. It cannot coerce.’



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