Model Agency Scams

A fake modeling agency that is selling "portfolios" and/or "model training" to 10 people a day for $1,000 or more pr person can't be bothered with finding work for you and a real agency that is booking millions of dollars worth of work every year can't be bothered with running a model scam....

So what type of agency would you rather be with?

Click HERE to see the FLORIDA STATE LAW that makes it ILLEGAL for model/talent "managers" and model / talent agencies to charge money for training, classes, workshops, photo sessions, comp cards, etc.

New York, California and Florida all have laws prohibiting managers and agencies model/talent agencies from charging money for anything but commissions on jobs they book.

For example, charging for anything other than commissions on bookings is prohibited in the state of New York by New York General Business Law Section 396-n.

Modeling agencies as well as model/talent "managers" are also required to have a license issued by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs. (N.Y. GBL Section 172).

New york, Californina and Florida model/talent/agencies and managers are also required to conspicuously post a notice concerning the agency's bond, the applicant's right to bring an action against the company, the required contents of a contract and any fees involved.

New York, Florida and California model/talent agencies andmanagers are also prohibited from requiring applicants to subscribe to any publication or incidental service or to contribute to the cost of the agency's advertising.

New York State Law also specifically prohibits model/talent agencies from soliciting clients by means of false and misleading representations or promises. (NY GBL Section 187).

And California's Business & Professions Code Section 17200 prohibits illegal, fraudulent, and "unfair" business practices and Code Section 17500 prohibits false advertising. 

Texas used to have very similar llaws but now Texas as well as all other states, have more general fraud prevention laws that prohibit making false and misleading statements as well as false advertising in newspapers, circulars, pamphlets, posters, letters, radio, etc.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulates interstate commerce and prohibits false advertising - a form of unfair and deceptive commerce.

Many people that are new to the industry experience a great deal of confusion over what is fair practice and what is not.

For example, some newcomers think it is wrong for ANY type of service provider to charge for their services which makes no sense at all, of course, as this would put most photographers, makeup artists, stylists, fitness trainers, etc. out of business.

And YES, although they may be very few and far between, there ARE legitimate model scouts and many of them also work as photographers, make-up artists etc. which is perfectly ethical and perfectly legal in all 50 states as there is no inherent conflict of interests. In fact, working with a legit model scout that is also a photographer can be very beneficial to a new model that is just starting out.

(Who would you rather shoot with, someone that hands you your photos, says "Good Luck!" and walks away, or someone that can walk you into top agencies where you will be given special consideration based on their track record with them?)

Just be sure not to confuse what a model scout does with what an agent does because, if a scout simply introduces new talent to agencies and does not get involved with negotiating fees for bookings the scout is generally not required to have a Talent Agency license.

Expenses are and always will be a part of being in any business and the modeling business is no exception.

If you are planning to model, be prepared to make some sort of investment. (Be sure to keep your receipts as most expenses will be tax deductible.) You should not, however, overspend.

Whatever you do, however, don't get tricked into paying big money to a bogus agency - especially one that promises employment and/or offers a "guarantee."

The fake guarantee is the hallmark of almost all modeling scams and those who can deliver what you want very likely will NOT offer a guarantee.

Some of the worst 'promise of work' offenders deliberately choose names that end with the word "Talent" to lead the uninitiated into thinking they are a booking agency - and their ads and web pages are chock full of phrases like: "We get you work," "gigs," "auditions," etc.

Don't fall for it. If the company's name is misleading and if their advertising is misleading and if they are willing to lie to you to get your money - they won't think twice about throwing in worthless promises and a meaningless guarantee.

If you find yourself writing out a check for big money to "ABC Models"... you can bet they are pocketing most of it and paying some amateur $50 or so to take your pictures. (Perhaps up against a $3 plastic shower curtain, as with what happened to a writer with Jane Magazine.)

Don't let anyone fast talk you into spending a lot of money on comp cards either as 99% of the time, if and when you sign with a real agency, they will request that your cards conform to their format. (If your agency uses nothing but editorial style images on blue card stock with light gray type, what good will it be for you to have a commercial looking white card with black type that does not have the right contact info?)

Impressed with their nice office in a shiny new building? They hope so because they are looking you to pay their rent for them.

Impressed with their flashy web site with the catchy music? They hope so because If they have no substance, then flash is all they have to show you.

Impressed with their radio ads and toll free phone number? The best companies have no need for radio advertising or toll free lines. (If someone is advertising on the radio and they have to induce you to call them by offering a toll free number - be prepared for a big sales pitch.)


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laws governing model/talent agencies
where's all the free stuff?
model talent convention scams
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model/talent directory scams
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why you're not working
modeling career mistakes
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There are thousands of fake modeling and talent agencies and a relatively small handfull of real ones - especially in the state of Florida - so feel free to send an e mail with your name, stats and a small jpg photo or two and we will try to point you in the right direction.
  questions and comments are always welcome!

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