SAG-AFTRA, Ad Industry Reach Tentative Deal on New Commercials Contract

SAG/AFTRA building - H 2016
Amy Kaplan

The package will be presented to the union's national board of directors for its approval later this month.

SAG-AFTRA and the bargaining unit representing advertisers and advertising agencies announced Sunday that they have reached a tentative agreement for new TV and radio commercials contract. Details of the agreement, which is subject to approval by the SAG-AFTRA national board of directors at its April 9-10 meeting, were not revealed. Once it receives board approval, the package will be sent to the SAG-AFTRA membership for ratification.

The contract, likely worth over a billion dollars per year in earnings (exact figures are not available), is one of the union’s largest, and is rivaled only by the TV/theatrical contract.

“I want to thank the members of the negotiating committee, co-chair Sue-Anne Morrow, chief negotiator David White and our staff for their diligent work," said SAG-AFTRA acting president and negotiating committee co-chair Gabrielle Carteris. "This negotiation dealt with where we are now and where we will be in the future. The tentative agreement delivers essential gains while properly positioning us for future growth in digital and social media. As content evolves, we are poised to grow work opportunities that support members and their families.”

Added SAG-AFTRA negotiating committee co-chair Sue-Anne Morrow: “Our negotiating committee was made up of working commercial performers from all over the country and we secured significant financial gains that will benefit our members right now. Equally important, we achieved creative new elements that make our contract more relevant in a rapidly changing industry and guarantee the expansion of work opportunities for our members. I make the majority of my living as a commercial performer and I am pleased to present this contract to our board for approval."

Douglas J. Wood, lead negotiator for the ANA-4A’s Joint Policy Committee on Broadcast Talent Union Relations, representing the ad industry and major advertisers, commented: “I also want to thank the members of my team who worked tirelessly over the past six weeks. I’d also like to acknowledge the memory of Kathleen Quinn of the 4A’s. Kathleen tragically passed away during the negotiations. Kathleen was a pillar on our team for more than 20 years. She will be missed by everyone. The success of this negotiation reflects the sense of partnership the JPC and SAG-AFTRA have built over the past 15 years.”

He continued: “Despite very complex issues that initially had significant differences for both sides of the table, through open and honest collaboration we reached a balanced and fair agreement for all parties.”