11 October 2000

Although hardly on the scale associated with the late Cecil B de Mille, some fifty members of the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television & Radio Artists picketed yesterday’s meeting of Procter & Gamble shareholders in Cincinnati.

Demonstrators marched three blocks from the shareholders meeting to P&G's headquarters intending to stage a sit-in but broke-up after Cincinnati police threatened them with arrest.

Playing bit parts at the event were such big names as Rob Schneider of NBC's ‘Saturday Night Live,’ Al Sapienza of HBO's ‘The Sopranos’ and Bonnie Bartlett, a character actress in such films as ‘Primary Colors’ - who, ironically, was also P&G’s first "Pampers Mom'' in ads aired in 1961. She revealed that she had donated $10,000 to the SAG strike relief fund – the sum she received recently from P&G for reuse of one of her 1960s commercials.

Schneider told the assembly: “It's unfortunate at a time of unprecedented prosperity that P&G would want to offer working-class actors what amounts to a 40% pay cut. P&G is one of the leading forces in the negotiating committee for the advertisers … it is a well-known hard liner within that committee … and is insistent on breaking this strike and these unions by using scab labor to make commercials.”

Protesting that the company had been unfairly singled out from among hundreds of national advertisers, a P&G spokesman insisted that it – and the ad industry at large - had offered “a fair and reasonable contract”.

News source: Advertising Age - Daily Deadline