Unions and advertising industry representatives have picked consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton to investigate possible new models for compensating commercial actors in the digital age.
Both sides agreed to hire an outside consultant and take the firm's findings into account during contract negotiations that begin next year.
The unions involved are the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA). In the other corner is an Association of National Asdvertisers/American Association of Ad Agencies joint committee.
Booz Allen will study models for paying actors for TV, radio and internet play, as well as other existing and projected delivery mechanisms.
New-media appearances, say advertisers, have been added onto compensation packages without taking into account the increasingly targeted nature of the business. Unions agree that new media appearances have not gotten enough scrutiny, but they are looking to make sure their members are adequately paid for all the places their voices or faces may now appear.
The RFP was something of a tall order, saying the study must be "comprehensive" and take into account the interests of performers, unions, advertisers, agencies, production companies, talent and payroll services, casting directors and "cost consultants."
The actors have been under a two-year extension of their old contract that expires in October 2008.
Work on the study began Thursday, May 31, and is expected to be completed by October 2007.
Booz Allen was one of nine companies that responded to a request for proposal.
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