If there was a Union for Advertising professionals, would you join?

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@SC2: "protecting workers rights" is one of the things unions purport to do. they also increase barriers to entry for new/younger workers, artificially alter market forces, mandate contributions whether you actually benefit or not, and use said contributions for policy influence whether you approve or not. I was compensated for the late nights I spent. I agreed to do this job, understanding it would involve late nights, tight deadlines, and all of the typical rigors and forces if modern advertising, for a particular amount plus benefits. at such a time as I believe the benefit of working here is no longer worth the cost, I will leave. I have options - this isn't a coal mine, despite all our protestations - and ever more options as technology grows cheaper and entry into alternate career paths grows lower.

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Yes. Actors have a really strong one and get paid really well (if they get the job), get paid OT, extra OT for weekends and holidays, have a pension and healthcare, etc. Why not us? (Besides the obvious that Execs would crush it)

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That was a very informative response. Makes sense. Thanks ACD2.

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No. I want to be able to independently and freely bargain my salary and extras like vacay or wfh in any interview situation. That said, I wish the industry would step up and better self-manage the overwork, on-call expectations and work-life balance. Other industries do it. We can too.

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The best part of a union is that you get to choose what is negotiated collectively and what is negotiated individually. We could decide to keep all of the points you’re concerned about part of individual negotiation. We could also collectively negotiate to be paid overtime for the hours above 40 we work, like is done at law firms and accounting agencies (whose billable-hour model is very similar to advertising’s.)

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Why doesn’t Cindy Gallop lead this? Seems like the perfect way to fight sexism, agesism and racism in the industry. Why can’t she Michael Bay that?

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The Michael Bay reference is to her Twitter bio ... “I like to blow s@&! up! I am the Michael Bay of Business.”

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Absolutely. Anyone who says “No” because they “want to be able to negotiate for what they want” simply doesn’t understand how unions work. Like, not even a little bit.

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Exactly! Unions set minimums not maximums. It’s not Communism. 😄

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Hard yes. Only way it’d work though is if the agencies are in on it somehow. As long as our execs burn money trying to undercut other agencies we won’t be a stable enough industry to support a strong workers union. Seriously “project based” relationships where we spend our own money pitching for scraps and have our fees skinned to the bone are as much to blame as our inability to negotiate from a labor perspective.

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No question: Yes. We are one of the most vulnerable industries (increasingly so) with nearly guaranteed age-out in our futures. Agency people give everything, and sacrifice personal time, family, sanity and financial aspects more and more over the past couple decades, with little to no protection from layoffs or ability/hope for a comfortable future. The return is not comparable.

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Agree a hundred times.

Yes!

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If it forced the industry to police itself in terms of overwork and underpay, yes.

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Hell yeah

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Yep. But it will never happen now. Maybe twenty years ago when the biz was solvent.

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Yes.

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Yes.

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100%

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no. unions frequently gum up the works with layers of bureaucracy and hinder quality work. the people who benefit most are the people who run the union. also, I don't want to be required to pay dues for political causes I don't agree with, which almost certainly would happen. also, Im pretty psyched to work in aj industry where we get to make art and influence culture. it isn't manual labor, and it seems silly for people who get to make a living being creative to complain about it as if they are coal miners with no options. if you don't like how you're treated, you're free to move to another shop, start your own agency, or change industries.

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@OP, advertising is a form of art, yes. obviously it is at the intersection of art and commerce, it's not fine art. I know the difference, I have an arts background. but my point was, unions are a holdover from a time when labor was heavily physical, education and literacy rates were very low, class mobility was low, and it was nearly impossible to find work outside your local city. literally all the power was in the hands of the capital class. none of those things are true now. we work with our minds, we are all educated, it is easy to work across geographical boundaries (which is why freelancers from developing nations are scooping up low level work), and we warent confined to the lower class for life (although income/wealth disparity is making that less true). working in advertising is highly desirable and the barriers to entry are lower and lower. unionization is the essence of trade protectionism - if you don't like the market forces at work (or don't want to compete, because you think you shouldn't have to), you are free to dig ditches or fill potholes. plenty of people will happily replace you. or, you know, start your own agency and see how hard it is. I'm also OK with employees at a particular company organizing. I just don't think an industry wide union is the answer.

Yeup

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Yes. Without hesitation.

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This industry and its ego would make it impossible.

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I wish it was the case.

HELL YEAH

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Yes

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