IPA ousts AFVPA in Equity talks furore

The body representing Britain’s production companies was this week dramatically kicked off the advertising industry’s negotiating team in the dispute with the actors’ union, Equity.

The body representing Britain’s production companies was this week

dramatically kicked off the advertising industry’s negotiating team in

the dispute with the actors’ union, Equity.



The Advertising Film and Videotape Producers’ Association has been cast

out for publicly calling for the conciliation service, ACAS, to bring a

speedy resolution to the ten-week commercials boycott by Equity members

(Campaign, last week).



A statement issued on Wednesday by the Incorporated Society of British

Advertisers and the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising confirmed

that the AFVPA would neither participate further in the employers’ joint

negotiating group nor be a signatory to any agreement.



’We’ve been expelled because we have urged the IPA and ISBA to involve

ACAS,’ Cecilia Garnett, the AFVPA chairman, said. ’This would enable

discussions to take place at arm’s length and without

preconditions.’



She added: ’This doesn’t mean we are taking Equity’s part and, even

though our members are concerned about their businesses, they are

concerned about what the dispute is doing to commercials production in

the UK.’



Before the expulsion, the AFVPA was given a deadline of Tuesday to

confirm it would support the employers’ stance of no talks without

acceptance by Equity of a revised system of voiceover payments and to

issue a public statement declaring its willingness to toe the official

line. This it declined to do.



The dispute had already taken a further twist on Monday when it was

revealed that a number of big name stars, including Helen Mirren, Tim

Piggott-Smith and Ian McShane, had all refused to do advertising work.

Mirren’s decision is seen as particularly significant, given her role as

the central figure of the Virgin Atlantic Airways campaign through

Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe.



Meanwhile, employer negotiators are seething at the AFVPA’s go-it-alone

tactic. ’There’s no pressure on us to change our position so why should

we?’ a source close to the negotiating team asked. ’I can’t tell you how

much anger this has caused.’



But news of the rift was hailed by Equity, which expressed ’dismay’ at

the IPA and ISBA holding out against ACAS intervention.



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