Are cracks appearing in the united front presented by the industry
in its confrontation with Equity?
Four months after the union called its boycott, it seems the dispute is
causing pain for little gain.
Creative directors complain of having to divert energy to get
performances from amateurs that Equity professionals would give in a
fraction of the time. There are worries that big clients, less dependent
on personality-led advertising, are behind the industry’s macho
The row over voiceovers has spiralled out of control, not least because
of Equity’s mistaken belief that agencies are awash with money. But
while the industry must keep all costs under scrutiny, the dispute
should be kept in perspective.
Any gains resulting from victory will be small when compared with the
size of many media budgets. There are much bigger issues on which the
industry could stake its reputation. As each side waits for the other to
blink, advertising and hard-pressed actors alike are being hurt.