There aren’t many people who wouldn’t be flattered to hear that somebody thought they had the potential to be a model. In a society that tells you that unless you buy in to the cosmopolitan culture of perfect bodies and catalogue fashion, fraudsters have been left for years to prey on girls and women seeking affirmation on their appearance. Now though, ‘Pretty Protection’ rules have been put in place to crack down on rogue modelling agencies looking to capitalise on the vulnerable.
The modelling scam is fairly straightforward – through various mediums girls are being approached, courted, and being assured that they have what it takes to make it in the modelling industry. They’re asked to attend photo shoots or registration events where they’re pampered and treated like royalty. They’re led to believe that paid work will be forthcoming from an extensive list of clients, and just when the ‘mark’ is about to sign on the dotted line, the trap is sprung.
In order to sign up to these agencies, the girls (ok, so guys are just as susceptible to this too, but statistically speaking the main demographic of those affected are female) have to come up with a ‘signup fee’ or an ‘agency retainer’ on the expectation of making the money back on modelling work. By the time the session is over, victims might have handed over sums that reach the high hundreds. And unfortunately, save for an occasional email or letter informing them they’ve had no interest yet, this is often the last time most people hear anything.
The new rules are as follows:
As of 01/10/2010, it is now illegal for model agencies to charge any type of upfront fee before finding a client work.
Any company caught trying to do that could face an unlimited fine or be banned from operating for up to 10 years.
A 30-day cooling off period has been introduced for photographic work.
If you fall for that trick and pay for a portfolio of pictures you no longer want, you have a month to change your mind and ask for your money back.
Critics though have already said though that the new regulations aren’t sufficient to adequately protect against rogue modelling agencies, as there are still several loopholes still left gapingly wide open. There are however people you can speak to if you feel you are still being scammed, and they can be found here.
The problem now though is that people who genuinely want to make it in the modelling industry are left wondering who they can trust. With so many rogue agencies out there, it’s hard to identify who’s genuine and who isn’t. And now with awareness being raised as to the potential pitfalls of putting your trust in modelling scams, the legitimate agencies risk being tarred with the same brush. An unfortunate but classic case of ‘guilty by association’.
When you have a legitimate business of any ilk, you should look to protect your reputation and disassociate yourself from scammers in the same trade. At reputationmanagementfor.com, we’ve already spoken to spoken to modelling agencies over the last year who are concerned with being caught up in the negative light their ill-intentioned counterparts have been casting. If you have a business whose reputation is being questioned due to matters outside your control, then get in touch with us to find out how we can help you to protect your brand name and reputation. In fashion more than most industries – your name is your lifeblood.
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