Actors' unions and advertisers in the USA have agreed to talk about changes in the system of payments for appearances in commercials. The breakthrough comes as the current contract is extended for a further two years while the overhaul takes place.

The Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists have yet to ratify the deal, which would raise performers' pay by 6% in the short-term.

It would also lead to the appointment of an independent consultant to study ways of remunerating actors for ads which appear online and on other new media platforms such as cellphones.

The two sides are currently at odds over the issue. The actors believe they should be paid extra for appearing on such media, just as they are for television commercials.

Advertisers, on the other hand, argue actors are not reaching any more eyeballs - just the same eyeballs through different vehicles - so should not claim extra to appear before the same audience.

The consultant's findings will form the basis of future negotiations.

The unions said in a joint statement: "In a rapidly evolving media environment, our agreement demonstrates that performers and advertisers can work together to deal with change."

Data sourced from Adweek (USA); additional content by WARC staff