AFVPA splits with IPA in Equity row

The ad industry’s united front in its dispute with the actors’ union, Equity, is in danger of crumbling after a call by production company representatives for deadlocked talks to be resumed.

The ad industry’s united front in its dispute with the actors’

union, Equity, is in danger of crumbling after a call by production

company representatives for deadlocked talks to be resumed.



The call by the Advertising Film and Videotape Producers’ Association

has provoked fury from other industry negotiators who accuse it of

breaking ranks without consultation and causing them severe

embarrassment.



The AFVPA’s action is understood to have been sparked by fears that

production companies are losing business as the nine-week commercials

boycott by Equity members causes more films to be postponed or moved

abroad.



But a letter from Cecilia Garnett, the AFVPA’s chairman, to 40 agency

heads of TV in which she urges a return to the negotiating table has

been condemned as ’an act of stupidity’ by other employers’

representatives.



Until now, the AFVPA, the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising and

the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers have taken an

uncompromising line in their demand for a revised system of voiceover

payments, which they claim are out of line with payments to on-screen

actors.



’The AFVPA has done real damage to our cause,’ a source close to the

industry negotiating team said. ’It will lengthen the dispute because it

will give Equity false hope.’



The AFVPA’s move was due to be discussed at a meeting of the employers’

joint negotiating team this Thursday. ’We hope the association will stay

with us,’ an insider said.



Agency chiefs accuse the AFVPA of acting precipitously, claiming the

dispute has not yet been unduly disruptive. ’It’s a pain but we haven’t

reached a stage where we have to give in,’ one said.



An Equity spokesperson said: ’We would welcome an approach from the

employers for new talks without preconditions.’ Garnett was unavailable

for comment.



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