Entertainment, Features, New York

SAG-AFTRA Wins Battle with BBH

July 22, 2019

By Joe Levine

NEW YORK, NY – SAG-AFTRA wins a two year battle with ad agency Barle Bogle Hegarty. Throughout the conflict superstar union members attended regularly scheduled demonstrations.

 In November 2017 BBH notified SAG-AFTRA that no permanent employees are working for the company and therefore the agency did not have to recognize the union contract. This was unusual since BBH accepted the union agreement since the agency opened its U.S. office in 1998. In May 2019, the NLRB ruled against the company, finding that BBH “employed numerous [actors] and the company should remain bound by the contract.

The NLRB ruling orders BBH “to recognize and bargain with the union and notify the union in writing of any changes made in the unit employees’ wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment after Nov. 21, 2017.” The agency must “restore all benefits, wages, hours and other terms and conditions enjoyed by the unit employees prior to Nov. 21, 2017.”

“Our goal from the start was to produce high-level, cutting-edge creative work for our clients on a level playing field in a fast-evolving industry,” said BBH New York managing director Brett Edgar. “We lost the battle, we’ll respect the ruling, and move on.”

The union staged  demonstrations at BBH’s offices in New York and Los Angeles. Throughout the two years of conflict many union member stars participated in the  protests including George Clooney, Tom Hanks, Bryan Cranston, Octavia Spencer and Jennifer Aniston, who united under the hashtag #AdsGoUnion.

“We’re pleased that BBH has returned to their longtime status as a SAG-AFTRA signatory. Since the inception of our relationship nearly 20 years ago, we have partnered effectively to provide the best talent in the world to BBH clients while ensuring fair compensation and safe working conditions for SAG-AFTRA members,” said SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris. “Now, with our new 2019 Commercials Contracts, we are thrilled that BBH can take full advantage of the transformative compensation models in this groundbreaking agreement to better compete in the constantly evolving advertising industry.”

July 22, 2019

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