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
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
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.