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AdLand and Hollywood Reach A Deal
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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The business relationship between AdLand and Hollywood is not given the limelight. Yes, the details, though important in many cases, are quite boring. How many people know of the ANA/4A Joint Policy Committee (JPC) on Broadcast Talent Union Relations? How many people knew that the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) merged with AFTRA, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists? And finally, who knew that the JPC and SAG-AFTRA have been in contract re-negotiations since 2009?

Not many, we would think.

But it is important. The issue came up when commercial actors started to see their revenues decrease. Multiple screens enabled agencies and marketers to spread the costs of the actors. As many jobs left TV and radio for the Internet (and not to mention the jump to crowdsourced and virally produced ads), these union actors were seeing less work, and less money.

It is a gift and a curse: unions protected actors from being mistreated by marketers and agencies; these deals made sure that not only did the actors get paid, but they got paid on time, treated fairly on set, and paid for exactly what the job or project ordered.

If you are familiar with the fashion industry, models are having a rough time struggling with this problem. 

What's the curse? Penny-pinching, of course. Each side wants to be as efficient as possible. AdLand wants to get the best deal, and Hollywood wants to be compensated fairly, regardless of the media channel they end up on.

It was just announced that the JPC and SAG-AFTRA reached a deal, with the details being disclosed after the SAG-AFTRA membership approves in late April.

SAG-AFTRA has a membership of around 165,000, which isn't huge, but still substantial. After being in AdLand and Hollywood for a while, you would see that it is a close-knit community.

It will be interesting to see what language and terms come out in referencing digital media work. Will this force AdLand to improve audience metrics, if the agreement demands a scaled payment structure tied to audience numbers? Will there be a difference across digital advertising platforms?

Will the agreement totally turn off small agencies from using bonded actors? Who knows. But one thing is for sure: We should treat those we work with fairly, and we're glad a deal is done that both sides should be able to work with.

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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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