THE BIG PITCH - What can SAG do to sway public opinion in favor of its strike against advertisers?

George Glazer

George Glazer

George Glazer

Partner, World Satellite Television News

Boynton Beach, FL

Perhaps SAG should make a ’grass-tops’ effort. No doubt advertising

managers are watching things very closely - and making their views known

about any increases for SAG members that eventually will be reflected in

higher future production budgets. But does the advertiser CEO or

chairman know of the issues? Who better to explain them than a star of

stage, screen and television - in a personal telephone call? Maybe that

call won’t get through to a top-20 advertiser CEO, but want to put money

on the next 80 down? Also, the industry and business-oriented media

still offer the best way to reach the broadest group possible, even

though this route has obvious pitfalls. SAG certainly must use its very

own medium - TV and radio - to put forth its messages. No matter how

well media-trained, no matter how experienced the business executive is,

there’s almost no chance of beating actors at their own game.

Ken Slavin

Center for the Persuasive Arts

San Antonio, TX

In general, unions just don’t command the respect they once did

However, in this case, I believe the show-business-obsessed public is

already somewhat sympathetic to this cause. SAG’s PR within its own

industry is strong and seems to be hitting the mark. But it needs to

create a more compelling story for the public, downplaying the ’glamour’

of acting and making it grittier. Working actors struggle; they have

families to feed, and like everyone, they deserve rewards for hard work.

I’d boil it down to corporate greed versus humanity (48 Hours and

Dateline - here we come!) I’d also stress the ’pay-for-play’ precedent

in traditional media and insist it should apply to the Internet and

cable. Combining fact and emotion is an effective recipe for driving

home a message with heart. Deluge the airwaves, print media and Internet

with the human element, and prove that the fight for fair pay is just

that: fair!

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