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Commercial Actors Get 6% Pay Hike in New Contract

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The advertising industry's tentative contract with actors for commercial production will generate an estimated $238 million in increased payments for commercial actors through a 6% average wage and payment increase. It will also give the Association of National Advertisers something it's long sought: much wider use of it's the Ad-ID standard for identifying advertising assets across all media.

The deal reached earlier this month among unions and the ANA, American Association of Advertising Agencies and the latter two entities' Joint Policy Committee was approved April 21 by the board of the combined Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. It must still be ratified by union members in mail and electronic voting next month.

Among other things, the contract increases payments to actors for ads aired online and in other new media; increases the number of cable TV airings for which actors will be paid; increases union members' share of payments for their health and pension plans; and establishes rules for crowd-sourced ads.

On the last point, commercial actors won't be covered under the SAG-AFTRA contract for ads submitted as part of a contest, but actors in winning ads are covered by the contract and non-winning ads have to be removed from circulation after the contest ends.

The deal also increases per diems for meals and travel for actors in commercial shoots.

As a result of the deal, all video and audio commercials featuring SAG-AFTRA talent must be registered with Ad-ID, giving a boost to a tagging system long pushed by the ANA and 4A's but which has been adopted slowly. According to the Ad-ID website, the system identifies "advertising assets (broadcast, print and digital) across all media platforms. It's similar to the UPC code of the packaged goods industry in that it generates a unique identifying code for each advertising asset, and applies that code to all media."

"This is a huge step forward for the industry, as the mandate for Ad-ID guarantees accurate and improved measurement of advertising assets across all platforms and ensures fair and accurate payment of SAG-AFTRA talent," said ANA CEO Bob Liodice in a written statement.