Grey Says There Is ‘No Merit’ to SAG-AFTRA ‘Contentions’ on Non-Union Talent

By Patrick Coffee 

Yesterday we posted on the SAG-AFTRA union’s latest beef with the advertising industry: in an email to members and a message posted on its website, the entity formerly known as The Screen Actors Guild singled out Grey Group for allegedly using non-union talent.

Specifically, the group wrote that it was investigating claims that Grey has chosen to work with production company 23 Townhouse in order to bypass agreements made between the union and the ad industry (as represented by ANA-4A’s) that would require all involved shops to use only unionized actors and production talent for its clients’ campaigns.

In the note, SAG-AFTRA claimed that it had attempted to contact Grey about its “potential violations” of the union’s Commercial Contracts agreements before sending the “urgent notice” to all members in a Wednesday afternoon email blast.


In responding to our post on Twitter last night, SAG-AFTRA seemed to take issue with our use of the word “accuses.” Note the hashtags.

The group later clarified that it was simply agreeing with our assertion that it does not, in fact, fuck around.

The first statement on the matter from Grey’s legal team denies that there have been any such violations and even says that SAG-AFTRA did not, in fact, attempt to contact the agency directly as claimed.

“Grey is a long-standing signatory of SAG.  We have had a very positive and productive relationship with them.  We believe that there is no merit to their contentions.

Contrary to their open letter, no one from SAG tried to contact Grey Group before it was released.  We intend to respond to their letter in due course.”

It’s unclear who first provided information on SAG’s claims or what sort of evidence they have to back them up, but the group has called upon members to reach out if they have more.

As noted in previous posts, the union and the industry group have yet to finalize their agreement, and the deadline for members to vote on the matter is May 9th.

Expect more developments to come on both the Grey case and the larger story.