Are We Victims Of The Ancient Chinese Curse?

Douglas J. Wood

We've all heard the Chinese curse“ May you live in interesting times.” While the marketing industry has certainly had its share of interesting times in the past, the future holds even more daunting challenges. This article will address an area that will create such a challenge — the costs and conditions of hiring actors for the production of radio and television commercials.

Since the 1950s, dealings between the advertising industry and actors have been governed by a series of collective bargaining agreements with three principal unions: the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), the American Federation of Radio and Television Artists (AFTRA), and the American Federation of Musicians (AFofM). The term of each of these agreements is three years, with the current agreement with SAG and AFTRA expiring at the end of October 2006. The current AFofM contract expires October 2007. While October 2006 is a year away, much needs to be done before we sit down with SAG and AFTRA to begin negotiations on their next contract.