BBH Opinion

An Open Letter to the Talented Actors Who Work with BBH US

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BBH US is privileged to work with the creative community’s best of the best. We thank you for being our partner in the work we love, using our combined creative power to produce ambitious ideas for ambitious clients. Your involvement in our work is crucial to delivering the high-caliber products our clients have come to expect from us.

It’s precisely because we respect your contribution that we want to communicate directly to you about why BBH US has decided to exercise our legal right to not renew our participation as a signatory to the SAG-AFTRA contract.

In short, we are hired to operate in the best interests of our clients, and part of that is being able to deliver the greatest level of flexibility and value for the work we do. We are simply looking to level the playing field for all of us. The current contract was put in place nearly 20 years ago, when the internet was in its infancy and the advertising world was a vastly different place, with vastly different economics. The cutting-edge work we do at BBH US across all mediums is not well-served by a contract that was designed for a traditional media landscape. The need for speed, agility, and greater efficiencies in how we produce work has become increasingly important in today’s market. Many of our peer agencies are not signatories, making it hard to compete sustainably in a way that benefits our clients.

We immensely value the creative talent we work with, and this decision does not change our commitment to fair wages and working conditions. We simply need the flexibility that this current contract does not allow in order to continue to do great work with great actors, both SAG-AFTRA and non-SAG-AFTRA talent alike.  

It is unfortunate that the current SAG-AFTRA Commercials Contract has placed signatory agencies at a competitive disadvantage. In withdrawing as a signatory, BBH US can operate in precisely the same manner as its peer agencies, providing work opportunities to performers across the full spectrum of the creative community.

While this was a difficult decision, it was one we had no choice but to make. We look forward to continuing to collaborate on work for some of the most innovative marketers in the world.