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SAG, AFTRA Partnering To Negotiate A New Contract For Commercials

Before hitting the red carpet Sunday, Screen Actors Guild President Alan Rosenberg announced his union would be teaming with the American Federation of Radio & Television Artists to jointly negotiate a new contract for recorded TV and radio commercials.

In a joint statement, Rosenberg and AFTRA President Roberta Reardon said: "We look forward to working together to protect and advance the interests, careers, and lives of all SAG and AFTRA members who work under the commercials contracts."

SAG, which is handing out its awards Sunday night, represents over 120,000 actors, while AFTRA represents about 70,000 actors and performers.

They also gave a shout-out to AFL-CIO consultant Peter DiCicco.

The new contract will cover TV, Internet/new media and radio.

Back in August, the performers unions and advertising industry agreed to a five-month extension on commercial performer contracts to March 31, 2009, while the two sides continued to jointly study alternative compensation methods for their participation in commercials that appear on television and radio as well as in the growing array of new media.

They had been working under a two-year contract extension that would have expired in October.

While unions are looking for more given the proliferating new media platforms, agencies have pointed out how small some of those platforms are, or at least were.

New-media appearances, say advertisers, have been added on to compensation packages without taking into account the increasingly targeted nature of the business.