Harry Enfield slams ’overpaid’ ad chiefs in Equity fees clash

The comedian, Harry Enfield, has launched a blistering attack on Britain’s ad industry, accusing it of hypocrisy in its dispute with the actors’ union, Equity.

The comedian, Harry Enfield, has launched a blistering attack on

Britain’s ad industry, accusing it of hypocrisy in its dispute with the

actors’ union, Equity.



The actor and writer, who has starred in a series of ads for Mercury

phones, Worthington beer and Hula Hoops, and provided voice-overs for

others, claims that it is agency chiefs who are overpaid rather than the

Equity members whose fees they are trying to drive down.



And he accuses the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising of picking

on highly paid voiceover artists as a ’soft target’ and using them as a

means of scrapping agreements with Equity so that it can cut fees of

actors appearing in commercials.



Enfield’s tirade in the Sunday Telegraph reflects the growing bitterness

being generated by the dispute over voiceover fees, which has led to a

boycott of UK commercials production by Equity members. The union says

that the effect of the industry’s demands would be to slash payments for

voiceovers by two-thirds.



In his article, Enfield claims there are many other areas in which

clients can save money rather than squeezing the small percentage of a

commercial’s cost that goes to actors. ’A few egos at the top think they

are Margaret Thatcher taking on the miners,’ he claims.



He is also scathing about agency creatives, whom he accuses of being

’removed from reality’, overpaid for minimal amounts of work and having

exaggerated opinions of their own talent.



’Being skilled in the art of deception, they cloak their own high costs

in the mystique of creativity,’ he says. ’The agencies are taking their

clients for a ride.’



Equity analysis, p12.



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