Unions To Protest For Plug Bucks


Unions representing Hollywood’s actors and writers are planning another protest Wednesday as they step up their campaign to get members compensated for branded entertainment (product integration), a prelude to what’s expected to be contentious upcoming contract negotiations.

Screen Actors Guild (SAG) President Alan Rosenberg, Writers Guild of America, West (WGAw) President Patric Verrone, and actor Elliot Gould, chair of SAG’s Hollywood division, are among those slated to appear at an hour morning protest march/press conference at a branded entertainment conference in Beverly Hills.

The guilds have called for a “code of conduct” to govern the placement and notification of branded entertainment programming.

Their demands on this and other issues have so far fallen on deaf ears among industry leaders, who have lashed out at the union leaders’ fiery rhetoric and tactics of protesting at entertainment business events.

Those union leaders were elected on a reform slate with pledges to organize and actively push for contracts that reflect the variety of repurposing platforms and opportunities to monetize their creative output.

Their latest request that they be included in the Madison+Vine seminar were rejected by sponsor, Advertising Age.

 “So-called “branded entertainment” is evolving into the integration of products into television and film without regard to the impact on the audience or the ethics of incorporating subliminal advertising into storylines,” the guilds said in a statement.

“The sharp increase in this sort of advertising is done without any consultation with performers or storytellers and without any compensation when they are expected to push those products.”

The WGAw has singled out reality shows as relying heavily on product integration. It is seeking to represent reality “storytellers” now without guild representation or aligned with other unions.