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Unions, Ad Industry Prep To Reassess Market

The Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists are hoping their joint ad industry/union will have picked an outside consultant by the end of June to study what, if any, changes need to be made to the contracts for commercial actors on TV and radio.

They have winnowed the candidates to nine, but once a choice is made, it still has to be voted on by the unions, so early July is more likely.

The contracts are up Oct. 29, but will likely be extended so that the study can be conducted, which is supported by both the ad industry and the unions through their joint policy committee.

The unions, which renegotiated the collective bargaining agreement to take cable into account, then later to include Internet play, want to make sure that the contracts reflect the advent of new technologies, including cell phones and much more aggressive Internet strategies than was the case when the Internet negotiations were held back in 2000.

The ad industry is OK with an independent study of the changing market. Both sides are playing with house money, however, since neither is obligated to accept the study's conclusions or recommendations.