September 29, 2003
For the first time since the performer unions raised the issue of commercials monitoring in the late 1970's, the advertising industry and the unions have identified common interests with respect to monitoring television and radio commercials and have initiated substantive actions to address the issue.
A key union objective in the 2000 Commercials Contracts negotiations centered on the development of a viable and comprehensive method for monitoring the use of commercials to verify proper payment of residuals. Throughout most of the negotiations, however, industry rejected the union proposals on monitoring. The unions continued to press their position, but by the final round of talks in October, 2000, it became clear to both sides that a compromise would be necessary to resolve the issue. The parties ultimately agreed to appoint a Joint Committee to investigate "identification factors for commercials", or possible standards by which specific commercials can be distinguished from one another in order to permit accurate matching of commercials with residuals payment records.