ACTRA response to open letter, posted February 22nd, from advertiser John St. Inc.

    TORONTO, Feb. 25 /CNW/ - In response to John St.'s open letter, here is
the truth of the matter:

    -   Why would John St. be "shocked" that ACTRA has declared it to be an
        "unfair engager"? It has known, for over six months, that this would
        happen if it could not be bothered to agree to abide by industry
        standards and re-sign the National Commercial Agreement (NCA).
    -   ACTRA has been unbelievably patient and reasonable in trying to reach
        out to this ad agency; if there had been a show of "good faith", as
        John St. claimed, we wouldn't be forced into the position of calling
        them "unfair".
    -   When is an ad agency called "unfair"? The ICA/ACA, of which John St.
        is a member, has agreed in the collective agreement with ACTRA that
        an ad agency is "unfair" when it refuses to sign a letter saying it
        will abide by standard industry terms; Why doesn't John St. agree
        with its own association?
    -   What is the reasonable offer John St. claims it has made to ACTRA?
        That it wants to use non-union performers and it doesn't want to pay
        them what union performers would make. Is that negotiating in good
        faith? Is that reasonable?
    -   John St. says its practices have always complied with the NCA in the
        past. That is simply not true and John St knows it. That's why we are
        in this situation today.
    -   Every professional performer, including child performers, needs the
        protection of the NCA.
    -   What doesn't the industry need? A player in the industry undercutting
        their competitors by refusing to pay the going rate or provide the
        protections negotiated, and agreed upon, by virtually everyone else.

For further information:

For further information: Susan Ponting, ACTRA National Public Relations
Officer, direct: (416) 644-1519, cell: (416) 897-7028, email:

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