SAG-AFTRA is calling out Brighthouse Financial, the insurance and investment giant, for using ad agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty to create a non-union commercial, which was shot in New York and New Jersey this week using mostly senior citizens working for non-union wages. The union has been on strike against BBH since September, following the agency’s decision not to continue as a union signatory.
“If Brighthouse Financial stands by their mission to help people achieve financial security, then why are they working through BBH?” SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris asked. “Brighthouse is effectively depriving actors of a living wage and health benefits that help support their families.”
“Performers achieve health benefits and financial security through SAG-AFTRA collective bargaining agreements,” said David White, the union’s national executive director. “However, the actors that worked on this shoot are further from achieving financial security. Brighthouse has $217 billion in assets and $83 billion in investments. They profit by using these actors’ performances. They can afford to utilize companies that treat actors with respect and pay the same rates that other companies pay for the same work.”
The ongoing strike is part of the union’s Ads Go Union campaign to organize non-union commercials. SAG-AFTRA is currently gearing up for negotiations for a new commercials contract, which generates more than $1 billion in annual wages for its members.