Children lose with advertising agency, John St.

    John St. refuses to sign on to commercial industry agreement

    TORONTO, Feb. 21 /CNW/ - The decision by the Toronto advertising agency
John St. to no longer abide by the National Commercial Agreement (NCA) is a
blow to all professional actors and especially child performers. The NCA sets
industry standard terms and conditions for performers who work in Canadian
commercial production.
    "It is appalling that, in the extremely profitable $19 billion Canadian
advertising industry, the John St. agency feels it no longer has to provide
performers with the industry standard wages, benefits and working conditions
set out by the NCA. It is especially alarming that children who work in this
industry will no longer have the protections provided by the commercial
agreement," said Dan Mackenzie, Director of Communications at ACTRA Toronto.
    John St. recently withdrew from the NCA, which is negotiated between the
Institute of Communication Agencies, the Association of Canadian Advertisers
(ICA/ACA) and ACTRA. The withdrawal of John St. means the agency will no
longer be using professional performers in their advertising and are not
obligated to provide children with the basic protections that are a
cornerstone of the NCA. Without the mutually agreed safeguards of the NCA, the
well-being of child performers is left to the goodwill of advertising
    Mackenzie added, "Children doing commercial work participate in a
stressful industry and are vulnerable to unreasonable work requests from
adults in trusted positions of authority. It is not acceptable to leave their
conditions of work to the whims of any ad agency. John St. should re-sign the
NCA immediately in order to demonstrate their commitment to abiding by
industry standards that have been mutually agreed for decades."

    ACTRA Toronto is the largest organization within ACTRA, representing over
11,000 of Canada's 21,000 professional performers working in the
English-language recorded media in Canada. As an advocate for Canadian culture
since 1943, ACTRA is a member-driven organization that continues to secure the
rights and respect for the work of professional performers.

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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