Guilds, ad biz seek comp analyst

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With the last signoff secured for a joint study on alternative compensation schemes, SAG, AFTRA and ad industry representatives will focus their attention on picking a consultant to conduct the study.

The Association of National Advertisers also approved a two-year extension of the SAG/AFTRA commercials contract. The unions previously had signed off on the extension and the compensation study plan.

"We now look forward to engaging a qualified independent consultant to conduct an in-depth study over the next two years to rethink the economic model under which actors are fairly paid and advertisers achieve an appropriate return on their investment," ANA CEO Bob Liodice said.

Results of the study will guide negotiators in the next round of contract talks in 2008, said Douglas Wood, lead negotiator for the ad industry.

"Ensuring that talent payments in the rapidly changing marketing environment are handled in a mutually beneficial way will require all parties to act with a great spirit of collaboration," Wood said.

Wood said a preliminary review of prospective candidates for the consultancy contract has yielded three finalists. AFTRA spokesman John Hindrichs said he expects a firm will be picked within the next few weeks.

"We need people who understand entertainment relations, who understand the ad industry and who also understand the new technology," Hindrichs said.

The unions and ad industry hope the study will offer new ideas about how performers and other talent can be compensated for commercials work amid the spreading array of new distribution platforms in the age of broadband.

The ANA represents 370 companies with an estimated 8,000 advertiser brands.

The American Association of Advertising Agencies also had representatives on the Joint Policy Committee on Broadcast Talent Relationships, which approved the commercial contract extension. No further review by the association was necessary.
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