The dispute between Equity and the advertising industry appears to
be petering out amid claim and counter-claim that each side’s resolve is
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background artists’ agents, one of which has withdrawn support for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 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
Graham Hinton, the IPA president, said: ’Agencies have a responsibility
to service their clients. The IPA is a trade body. It cannot coerce.’