IPA rejects arbitration after meeting at ACAS

The ad industry is maintaining its hardline stance against Equity, despite growing fears that a boycott imposed by the actors’ union is causing serious disruption to commercials production.

The ad industry is maintaining its hardline stance against Equity,

despite growing fears that a boycott imposed by the actors’ union is

causing serious disruption to commercials production.



Employers’ representatives left a meeting with officials of ACAS on

Friday, adamant that the arbitration service should not be called in to

mediate and warning Equity members that if they continued refusing to do

TV ads ’it is likely that more and more scripts will be written which do

not require them’.



But the lingering confrontation is causing serious disquiet among some

creative directors, who believe it is too high a price to be paid when

set against the harm being done to commercials production.



The dispute is over fees for voiceovers, which industry negotiators say

must be pegged because they are out of line with payments to on-screen

actors. Equity, which claims voiceover artists’ fees would be cut by a

third if employers’ demands were accepted, ordered a total boycott of UK

commercials production by all its members four months ago.



But one leading creative director said this week: ’My workload is

increased trying to find ways around the problems this dispute is

creating.’



Some creative chiefs claim the dispute is not saving money because of

the extra time needed to coax the right performances out of

non-professional actors. They also allege that the confrontation is

being driven by major advertisers less reliant on personalities to front

their advertising.



But at a meeting at the London headquarters of the Institute of

Practitioners in Advertising on Wednesday, agency managing directors, TV

heads and creative directors played down suggestions of widespread

problems.



Meanwhile Prunella Scales, star of Lowe Howard-Spink’s Tesco

commercials, was one of a number of leading actors to hit out at Steven

Berkoff, the actor and director, who has broken ranks to do voiceovers

on a series of Leo Burnett commercials for McDonald’s.