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January 15th, 2013
Steps To Consider As SAG-AFTRA Contract Expiration Nears
Due to their merger last year, SAG-AFTRA will be bargaining these contracts as one union. Contract talks are scheduled to begin February 14, 2013, which doesn''t leave much time to resolve the major issues on the table: (a) increasing employer contributions to the applicable pension & health plans; (b) merging SAG''s p&h plan with AFTRA''s p&h plan; (c) unifying the SAG and AFTRA commercials contracts into uniform agreements; and (d) better defining what is a "commercial" in the internet/new media era. Off the table for now is the issue of revamping commercial residuals based on gross ratings points, as SAG-AFTRA and the industry are continuing to research the availability of more consistent data.
Although both sides are optimistic a deal will be reached, negotiations are likely to go down to the wire. So, what should brands and agencies be thinking about as the industry approaches its own "fiscal cliff"?:
- When possible, schedule your productions to begin and end prior to the March 31, 2013 deadline;
- Rate increases are likely to be part of a new deal. So, it may be wise to increase budgets for post-deadline productions;
- When negotiating with talent, directors, production companies and other vendors, carefully consider whether your "force majeure," suspension/extension and termination provisions adequately contemplate a potential work stoppage in each contract;
- Consider alternatives to SAG-AFTRA talent for campaigns that are not scheduled to begin until after the deadline. Do you have resources in place to help you find talent from the non-union talent pool? Does duplicate casting make sense?
- If the maximum period of use ("MPU") for a commercial you intend to keep using is likely to expire during a potential strike, consider negotiating to extend the MPU prior to the deadline; and
- Most of all, agencies and brands are going to want to get together early this year to discuss the doomsday scenarios and formulate contingency plans for each production.
If you have any questions about the state of negotiations, SAG-AFTRA or any other advertising or marketing law issues, please contact Jeffrey Greenbaum at 212.826.5525 or JGreenbaum@fkks.com; Brian Murphy at 212.826.5577 or BMurphy@fkks.com or any other member of the Frankfurt Kurnit Advertising Group.
Other Advertising Law Alerts
New Low-Budget Waiver is Now Available for Digital Commercial Productions
Advertisers and agencies that are signatories to the SAG-AFTRA Commercials Contract can now take advantage of a new waiver issued by SAG-AFTRA and the Joint Policy Committee on Broadcast Talent Union Relations when producing low-budget digital commercials.
November 10 2017
FTC Updates Endorsement Guide FAQs and Settles First-Ever Action Against Individual “Influencers”
Recent developments demonstrate the FTC's continued interest in social media endorsements.
September 11 2017
FTC Announces Reforms to Its Investigative Process
Recently, the FTC announced a set of internal reforms intended to improve the process by which the Commission investigates unfair, deceptive and fraudulent business practices. The reforms relate to the Civil Investigative Demands ("CID") that the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection issues to request information from investigation targets.
September 7 2017