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Dc: This week, actors who star in tv and radio commercials went on strike against their employers, the ad agencies and their clients who make the advertisements that clutter up our media. Wendy Vapors reports.
(sfx: striking actors chanting)
Actors: 2-4-6-8! Better wages Taste Great!
Gimme a script! Show me the goods!
Wendy: Early this week it was virtually impossible to get in the front door of Shallow, Shameless, Trite and Mercenary, a Los Angeles Advertising firm. Angry actors blocked the entrance so they could talk to the press about their problems.
Brad: Who am I? I am the you you want to be.
Wendy: That was commercial actor Brad Hijinks.
Ted: (condescending) Well, it's simple, really. Advertising has become too expensive. It's a labor intensive business, and it costs extra to keep it focused on the client.
Wendy: How so?
Ted: Well, Wendy, to make a TV ad, you need copywriters, who spend hundreds of hours creating brilliant material that is thrown out by the client. Then there are account executives who fawn over the client at fancy restaurants and production people who haul expensive equipment to exotic locations to shoot fantastic images that impress the client, and of course the TV networks who sell the air time at prices that would bankrupt a small country, but not the client.
Wendy: Wow, that's a lot of people.
Ted: And upsetting the elegant balance of all of this are the unreasonable
actors, who only communicate our message to the public.
Wendy: I thought there was more to it than that.
Ted: No! And in this very complicated business, which is all about
writing and fawning and throwing things out and eating and traveling
and charging lots of money
someone who only communicates
(sfx: street march)
Wendy: Meanwhile, the actors promise to stick together, hoping their
strike will get the general public to put pressure on the industry to
stop using non-union talent.
Guy 1: I'm a big fan of prime time commercials. Big fan. If the faces change there, I'm gonna be real upset.
Wendy: (questioning) What's your favorite commercial?
Gal 1: It's been a few years, but the man in the rowboat in the toilet tank?
Guy 3: Oh, yeah, I loved that guy.
Gal 1: He made me believe. An amateur couldn't do that.
Guy 2: Are we talking about the toilet tank guy? I miss him.
Gal 1: Don't forget daytime commercials and those soup stirring moms!
Guy 1: Those moms were more my mom than my real mom.
Guy 2: Anybody can stir soup, but give a professional actor a spoon and an empty bowl, and she can make you taste it!
Wendy: Wow, you really had me going there! I thought for a minute I was talking to real people!
Guys and Gal: Glad you liked it, no problem, happy to help out, when will this be on?
Wendy: And so
television must continue forward without the famous
faces and voices that make up so much of it's irresistible appeal. And
we, as viewers, will be forced to suffer for the time being, frozen
in front of our television sets, watching amateur actors not quite successfully
pretending to be the people we most want to see on TV