The longest talent strike in Hollywood may be over, but it is anticlimactic in the automotive industry.
All the major automakers produced commercials for the U.S. market during the strike, mostly in Canada. Ford Motor Co. was the longest holdout, waiting until early October.
The biggest change for the auto industry now that the strike is over: Automakers have their voices back.
The actors reached a tentative contract agreement with the advertising industry Oct. 22. That means high-profile actors are returning to doing voiceovers for commercials, including Richard Dreyfuss for Honda and Edward Herrmann for Dodge.
During the six-month strike, advertising agency FCB Worldwide had to go without the usual voices behind client DaimlerChrysler. Actor James Naughton, who appeared in the movie The First Wives Club, is the voice of Jeep, and actor Tate Donovan, who starred in the movie Love Potion No. 9, is the voice of Chrysler.
'We compromised by not having their voices,' said John Van Osdol, senior vice president of broadcast for FCB in Southfield, Mich. 'You pick voices because of their tonality and the presence they bring to the brand. That was missed, but we were able to get around it.'
FCB produced about a hundred national and regional commercials for Chrysler and Jeep combined during the strike. Naughton and Donovan are expected to return this week to tape brand spots.
Actor Paul Hogan, the voice for Subaru of America Inc., honored the strike.
'Now we can start shooting two commercials - one for Outback, one for Forester - that we had been waiting to finalize because of the strike,' said Subaru spokesman Rob Moran.
A joint board of the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists was expected to endorse the three-year contract Saturday, Oct. 28.
The strike, which began May 1, was over pay. The actors wanted a fee for each airing of a cable commercial. Instead, an actor's maximum flat rate for a cable commercial will increase from $1,014 to $2,460 in three years.
Though the rate for pay per commercial airing on network TV will remain, an actor's one-day session fee for network work will increase from $478 to $500 with the contract.
The unions, with a combined membership of 135,000, also won Internet jurisdiction, meaning that commercials created exclusively for the Internet must use members of both unions.