Agencies Say Actor Royalties Threaten New-Media Ads

from the spuds-mackenzie-never-complained-like-this dept

The Wall Street Journal’s got a page-one feature talking about how the online ad market is looking up, thanks to increased interest from consumer-goods companies whose spending drives the advertising business. But buried inside is a story talking about a downside of new-media ads: the increased royalty payments ad agencies have to pay actors. Deals with unions see actors get residuals every time an ad they’re in runs, and with the growth of ad slots on on devices like iPods and mobile phones, or in online video, agencies say they simply can’t afford to keep paying on the same scale. All this is happening amidst the backdrop of an expiring collective-bargaining agreement between the agencies and the actors’ unions, so there’s some pre-negotiation posturing going on here. But it’s from both sides — the unions saying the agencies are just being greedy, with one actor complaining he could make more bartending than he does acting in commercials (no word on how good an actor he is, or how often he works, of course). In any case, it sounds like the marginal costs of new-media ads could pose a threat to them — whether it’s simply a threat to ad-agency margins or something more is anybody’s guess.

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Comments on “Agencies Say Actor Royalties Threaten New-Media Ads”

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anonymopus coward says:

This is summed up in “pre-negotiation posturing”. Actor’s unions aren’t going to stop new media advertising, they just to keep their piece of the action. Just like those plumbers that are trying to stop flushless toilets.

Unions and patents. Two great legal ways to extort money.

We’re just lucky there isn’t a patentholders union. Those guys would make the mob look like Carmelite nuns.

James says:

Actors Are Whiners...

I know a number of actors. They are like pro sports athletes. Athletes that aren’t the stars make a huge amount of money [top 2% income in US]. Even the lowliest actor gets paid an inordinant amount of money [scale] for the little work that they do.

If they can’t get work, how is that my problem?

And do they really think they’re going to get paid for each Web banner impression that they appear on?

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