Commercial Actors Working More for Less Pay

flo-geico-commercial-actingJust the other day I saw a commercial for a tax accounting company and recognized the lead actor from a Subway commercial.  That’s not the first time I recognized an actor from a completely different commercial campaign before, especially lately.  If it seems to you that commercial actors are appearing in more and more ads, it’s actually true: according to The Los Angeles Times, in order to make ends meet commercial actors are having to work harder than they used to.

Oklahoma City actor Frank Crim has appeared in 150 commercials over a thirty-year career but only earns about $60,000 per year.  Despite appearing on televisions regularly, he points out, “I still don’t make enough money to buy a house.  I’m not asking for the moon, just enough to make a livable wage.”  For many commercial actors that income is shrinking, and actors who once earned as much as $30,000 in residual payments from a single network television commercial have seen that number dwindle to a few thousand dollars or less.

One of the major issues is that an increasing number of big name actors are appearing in commercials (a problem that has similarly plagued voiceover actors recently).  Other issues include that lower viewership for shows on cable networks result in lower residuals for the actors in the commercials, and the fact that commercial actors receive little to no residuals from when their commercials are shown on the Internet, even if the ads go viral.

This week representatives of SAG-AFTRA are meeting with the major advertising agencies to work out a new contract for commercial work, which covers about 50,000 commercial actors.  One expected major point of contention will be increased payment for commercials shown on the Internet.  As another commercial actor veteran, Tom Konkle, points out, “We’re not being compensated in any substantial way for creating commercials that can be seen around the world, that are available 24/7 and can be targeted to their audiences.”

Prior contentions over compensation from advertisers led to a six month strike by the (not yet merged) SAG and AFTRA unions in 2000.  If SAG-AFTRA cannot come to an agreement with advertisers this week, it’s possible that another commercial strike may occur after March 31, which is when the current contract expires.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Latest Videos

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/director-david-gordon-greene-nar.jpg
Director David Gordon Green Narrates a Scene From ‘Joe’
Director David Gordon Green narrates a sequence from his new film, Joe, featuring Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan. In the video, he mentions his reasons why he likes to hire non-traditional actors. He likes people who have real skill-sets and not actors who have the skills on their resume. He also talked about this in […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/david-gordon-green-joe.jpg
Director David Gordon Green: “I find actors in unusual places”
I keep missing screenings of director David Gordon Greene‘s new film, Joe. I hear it’s really good so I’m looking forward to catching it at some point. Joe stars Nicholas Cage as ex-con Joe Ransom, who isn’t the greatest of role models until he meets a 15-year-old boy (Mud‘s Tye Sheridan). In this featurette, Green […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/judy-greer-i-dont-know-why-you-know-me-from.jpg
Please Don’t Say These Things To Judy Greer (video)
Judy Greer - who we love here at Daily Actor – has a new book called, I Don’t Know What You Know Me From (Confessions of a Co-Star), a series of essays about her life as an actress, friend and someone who everyone thinks they might know. Here’s a blurb about the book: “Want to […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Captain-America-SamuelNick-Fury.jpg
How Samuel L. Jackson Learns His Lines for the Marvel Movies (video)
Samuel L. Jackson stopped by Good Morning America earlier this week to talk about Captain America: The Winter Soldier – which is terrific, by the way – and he told Robin Roberts that for the first Cap film, he had trouble learning his lines. “I sat at home and I did all my studying, and […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/andy-karl-margot-seibert-rocky.jpg
Andy Karl and Margo Seibert Talk ‘Rocky: The Musical’ on ‘Today’
Andy Karl and Margo Seibert, the stars of Rocky: The Musical, talked to Today‘s Matt Lauer about the new Broadway musical. Karl talks about the final fight and taking on the iconic role. This is Seibert’s Broadway debut and she’s asked about her callbacks (9 in all!) and more. Check it out!