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1999, ACTRAwas thefirst performers’ union

in the world to cover digital advertising in

its NCA. For six years, ACTRA agreed to a

digital media pilot project that provided

reduced rates and Use fees to encourage

the engagement of ACTRAmembers. That

experiment ended in the last NCA, and the

results are that engagement of ACTRAmem-

bers in digital ads have steadily increased.

What has now become clear to ACTRA and

our industry partners is that in this round

of bargaining, we have to simplify andmod-

ernize the NCA to create an agreement that

suits the way business is conducted today—

search, click and hire.

We know we have the best performers in

the business, but now we have to make it

easier to engage the best.

In addition to developing a simplified,

streamlined commercial agreement, we’ve

been working hard on


, our

digital portal to hiring ACTRA.

ACTRAonline w

ill not only allow com-

panies to cast talented ACTRA performers

online, it will make it easy for those com-

panies to become signatory to the NCA,

estimate the cost, and contact, engage and

contract you...all with the click of a button.

As this article is being written, your NCA

negotiating committee is deep in bargaining

with the ACA and ICA. We have an excellent

team that is eager and dedicated to getting

the best contract possible for you.

The digital revolution has taken over our

lives, made it easy to access information

and content, and buy products online. It

has changed the way we communicate

and engage in social interaction. This new

digital era has had a tremendous impact

on individuals, on society; on the way busi-

ness is conducted, particularly with respect

to advertising. As we renegotiate our

National Commercial Agreement (NCA)

with the ad industry, represented by the

Association of Canadian Advertisers (ACA)

and the Institute of Communications

Agencies (ICA), professional performers

in North America face significant challen-

ges inmaintaining their competitive advan-

tage in commercial production. Gone are

the “MadMen” days when agencies had the

freedom to create ads for advertisers with-

out much regard to costs and ads aired on

network television in 13-week cycles.

Stephen Waddell, ACTRA

National Executive Director

and Chief Negotiator.

Today, advertisers are laser-focussed

on: controlling and limiting their ad dol-

lars; engaging experienced production

consultants to bottom-line their budgets;

employing non-signatory digital media,

not full-service agencies; and even produ-

cing in-house—creating content that can

be made into multiple ads for use onmul-

tiple platforms for local, national and

global distribution using members of the

public (or their employees) instead of

professional performers. Unfortunately,

“good enough” has become a standard in

digital advertising, much of which is con-

sidered by advertisers to be the modern

version of direct mail marketing.

This is why it is imperative that we adapt

to the evolving advertising environment

in this year’s round of NCA bargaining.

With thecurrentNCAexpiringonJune 30,

2017, our goal is to negotiate an agreement

that maintains ACTRA members’ profes-

sional advantage in commercial production

while balancing the needs of today’s adver-

tising world.

Digital platforms have made it easier to

reach both wide and narrowly-targeted

audiences; but digital has also drastically

disrupted advertising nationally and


While these new technologies havemade

it simpler and cheaper to produce commer-

cials, advertisers are bottom-lining their

ad budgets and demanding more for less

as they scramble to have their messages

viewed on multiple platforms.

Each year, ad budgets decrease and non-

union production increases, resulting in

fewer work opportunities for professional


Yet, despite this, employment overall

under our NCA appears to be steady. In


to Digital


By Stephen Waddell

Digital platforms

have made it easier

to reach both wide

and narrowly-targeted

audiences; but digital

has also drastically

disrupted advertising

nationally and inter-