Ad Groups In Dispute with SAG

Ad groups at odds with SAG
By Carl DiOrio

Sept 21, 2007

A joint committee of two ad industry groups has asked for arbitration in a dispute with SAG over certain pension and health fund allocations.

The Association of National Advertisers and the American Association of Advertising Agencies have a contract with SAG covering actors' work in TV commercials. But a dispute has arisen over "multiservice circumstances"  jargon for situations arising when an actor renders services over broadcast and non-broadcast media.

The ad industry's Joint Policy Committee on Broadcast Talent Relations objects to new guidelines recently created and implemented by the SAG-Producers Pension and Health Fund. The JPC said Thursday that the guidelines effectively raise employer contributions in such multiservice situations in violation of the parties current contract with SAG.

SAG indicated that it will fight efforts to overturn the guidelines.

"This arbitration demand is the result of a disgruntled group of employers seeking to invalidate a decision made, not by Screen Actors Guild, but by a joint body comprised equally of employer and union representatives," SAG general counsel Duncan Crabtree-Ireland said. "We will defend it vigorously."

Notably, the dispute does not involve new-media content but rather other forms of non-broadcast advertising. SAG and the JPC have commissioned a study on how current compensation plans should be tweaked to account for the proliferation of new media.