SAG-AFTRA has taken its ongoing strike against the Bartle Bogle Hegarty ad agency to a quiet neighborhood street in Brentwood, picketing outside a house there where BBH is shooting a non-union commercial for Samsung. The agency had been signatory to SAG-AFTRA’s contract for nearly 20 years but said in September that it was going non-union.
The labor action comes as the union continues negotiating with the ad industry for a new commercials contract. That contract expires on March 31, and the ad industry is known to be speeding up production of union commercials before that deadline and a possible strike.
“This is now BBH’s new normal until they honor their contract,” said SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris. “Moving forward, they can expect our presence at their commercial shoots. Whenever BBH wants to shoot non-union, we’ll be there because this is the new normal and we want them to know that we see you. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: SAG-AFTRA is not going anywhere.”
The picketing is just the latest action against BBH by the union, which has included mass rallies outside the ad agencies offices, the filing of unfair labor practices charges, and shaming – all of which is part of SAG-AFTRA’s Ads Go Union campaign to organize non-union productions.
“Our determined and united membership successfully picketed BBH’s shoot,” said David White, the union’s national executive director. “The support of our growing activist network, which spans the industry, was instrumental in providing the information necessary for swift and effective action.”
SAG-AFTRA members have been instructed not to accept any work for BBH, which the union says “is illegally attempting to abandon its union contract and evade its responsibility to always shoot union commercials, pay fair wages, contribute to performers’ pension and health benefits, guarantee safe sets and commit to the responsible and respectful use of performers’ images, voices and performances.”