US actors’ strike starts to hit UK agencies

Agencies in Britain are starting to feel the effects of the US actors’ strike as they attempt to renew agreements to show commercials shot before the start of the dispute.

Agencies in Britain are starting to feel the effects of the US

actors’ strike as they attempt to renew agreements to show commercials

shot before the start of the dispute.



A number of UK shops wanting to renew usage rights are running up

against US agents unwilling to negotiate for fear of being ’blacked’ by

the Screen Actors Guild, according to the IPA.



Meanwhile, the UK agency association has asked member shops to do

nothing to undermine the position of US industry negotiators in the

deadlocked dispute, now in its 13th week.



The British actress Liz Hurley angered SAG members this week when she

filmed a commercial for Estee Lauder despite the strike.



The IPA has warned agencies against signing any so-called ’interim’

agreements offered to them by the SAG.



Geoffrey Russell, the IPA secretary and director of media affairs, said:

’No agency should sign an SAG agreement which gives the union almost

everything it seeks.



’This will lead to price increases and undermine the American

Association of Advertising Agencies whose stance we support. If agents

refuse to negotiate there’s not much we can do to make them change their

minds.’



Members of the SAG and the American Federation of Television and Radio

Artists have been refusing to undertake ad assignments since the

beginning of May.



The actors, who receive a ’residual’ payment every time one of their

commercials is broadcast on network TV, are seeking a similiar deal for

ads on cable TV.



Advertisers want to keep the existing system under which actors get a

one-off payment for cable ads and revert to a similiar system for

broadcast TV.



Russell said most UK agencies had been able to circumvent the problem by

shooting outside the US or in ’right to work’ states such as Florida.



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