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Model Management Inc. / A classic scam

1 United States Review updated:
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I spend time, energy, and gas on this scam. The moment I finally sat down with one of their "managers" I noticed the credit card machine. I was actually quite shocked that she thought she could fool me since I have agents and a manager already. But alas she tried and explained to me that if I already had "good" model pictures then I would not have to take new ones. But I would still have to pay 100$ a year for my info to be on their website. I politely said no, she did not seem surprised. I left there angry and sad that such a thing still goes on. I hope enough people realize this and they do not make another cent.

Ja
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Comments

  • Na
      7th of Jul, 2008
    0 Votes

    Thanks for posting this useful info. I had responded to a craigslist ad for a print commercial and as I later found out a reputable agency should not have to advertise, especially through craigslist. They invited me to meet them and what was supposed to be a single job turned into a proposal for representation. Although I had inquired several times to make sure they were inviting me for the particular ad, when I visited them there was no mention of it. It just doesn't seem right to be so eager in representing someone with no prior experience. The other thing i am still trying to figure out is whether they actually occupy more than those two tiny offices I saw?

  • Pa
      8th of Jul, 2008
    0 Votes

    Yesterday my 17 year old son phoned me evry excited. He said that he had met the CEO of Model Management Inc. while walking thru the lobby of the building that his girlfriend's father has an office in.
    The man wanted to sign him up immediately.
    For some reason the company name sounded familiar to me since I use to live in that area.
    Just now I googled them to find your complaint.
    I now remember these people approaching me in a shopping mall of all things, lol I thought that they were a scam then.
    Gee, after all of these years they are still scamming people and letting them down. You'd think that they would have changed their names. Beware is all I can say.
    There are people that don't care about anyone else but themselves in this city. They don't believe in Karma or any higher power.
    Protect yourselves, and all the best . Page in LA

  • Pa
      8th of Jul, 2008
    +1 Votes

    P.S.

    Correction, they are also calling themselves Modeling Management Inc.

  • Ku
      9th of Jul, 2008
    +1 Votes

    Please read our response to this complaint.

    http://www.complaints.com/2008/june/29/Model_Management_Inc_-_Is_Running_A_Classic_Scam_175702.htm

  • Ku
      10th of Jul, 2008
    0 Votes

    This letter is in regards to the complaint filed against Model Management, Inc. on Complaints.com. We wish to have you remove this complaint as soon as possible.

    Here is our response to the complaint.

    We have been a Model Management group for over 23 years. Below is a list of some of our credits. We would not have these credits if we were a scam. We are a licensed print management group in California with all proper standing corporation paper work.

    We have a new faces division that develops the talent to prepare them for the agency. This is a standard in the industry. Models not only need headshots, but they also need full length shots, 1/2 body shots, a complete modeling portfolio, and composite cards before we send them out on auditions. This is a much different process than being an actor or commercial actor. The person who filed this complaint is an actor who came in with only headshots. He was told that he would need new pictures in order to work as a model. We prefer to have the models shoot with our photographers because we know and trust their work. We also know we can depend on them to get the right shots to promote our models in the best way possible.

    Regarding the fees as stated in the complaint, there are none and we take a 20% commission from the jobs that we book our models. The $800 mentioned in the complaint is not a fee. It is a small price to pay for the proper tools you need in order to be a professional model. If models come to us prepared, meaning they have proper photos, composite cards, and modeling portfolio, we send them straight to our booking division where we immediately send them out on auditions without any fees. If prospective models do not have the proper tools they need to be professional models, we send them to our new faces division where they get the correct direction in order for us to represent them in our agency.

    We understand if the person is struggling and cannot afford the services we offer but this does not justify the claim that we are a scam. To be a model, you must be able to invest in yourself as you are starting your own business.

    We apologize that our representative was not available the day of the interview, but like the rest of us, she is human and occasionally becomes ill.

    As far as the pornography goes, nothing of the sort happened and is completely unprofessional and insulting to the employees to claim that this happened.

    All other statements in the complaint are basically stating our standard company policy and procedure, not a complaint, mixed with some elaborate and dramatic words to defame the Model Management, Inc. name.

    Model Management, Inc. Credits

    Print
    Abercrombie & Fitch, Polo, YSL Couros, Sears, Dockers, Ralph Lauren, Switcher, Avia Sportswear, Muscle & Fitness, In Style Magazine, Calvin Klein Eyewear, Hollister, Tommy Hilfiger, Fila Sportswear, Goldwell, Nexus, Orange Clean, Wrangler Jeans, Dark and Lovely Hair Care Products, Budweiser, Corona, Tecate Beer and Toyota, International Male, NuSkin, Icon Fitness, Health Rider, Franklin Covey, ZCMI, Novell WordPerfect, Disney

    Commercials
    Liz Claiborne's Bora Bora Campaign and Estee Lauder's Dazzling fragrances, Bowflex, Disney, Bally's Fitness Centers, Sony Playstation, AT&T, Mercedes Benz, 24 Hour Fitness Centers, U.S. Postal Service, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Heineken, Miller Beer and Ford Trucks, Kodak.

    Film
    Pirates of the Caribbean, T3-Rise of the Machines, Daredevil, Gigli, Catch Me if You Can, Vanilla Sky, Minority Report, Pool Hall Junkies, Zoolander, Legally Blonde, Punch-Drunk Love, Rock Star, Blow, The Mask, Swordfish, Charlie's Angels, Unhook the Stars, The Cell, Species, Austin Powers I & II, The Stand, Enemy of the State, Independence Day, Beverly Hills Cop, Beverly Hills Cop II, Wayne's World 1 & 2 and Speed II, Zoolander.

    Television
    The Gilmore Girls, Will & Grace, Six Feet Under, Just Shoot Me, Touched By an Angel, Promised Land, Drew Carey, Love Boat, Married with Children, Silk Stalkings, Pacific Blue, Baywatch, Veronica's Closet, The Nanny, Pacific Blue, SpeedVision Networks American Thunder, Sweating Bullets and The Price is Right.

  • Sh
      27th of Oct, 2018
    0 Votes

    @Kurt Oh shut up real modeling gigs never ask ppl for money so TRY AGAIN!!!

  • Sa
      18th of Jul, 2008
    0 Votes

    w0w im so gladddd i read this, i was actually about to go to a call back on monday, now i can save my gas money and drive to the beach instead! haha thnxx to whoever posted this!!!
    toodles*

  • Ay
      20th of Jul, 2008
    0 Votes

    I too have had similar experience with Model Managment Inc. and while the jury is still out on whether they really do find real work for models I ask this:

    Anyone can claim the credentials or references you have listed above, can your potential models check these references? Who would I call at Abercrombie & Fitch, YSL, casting directors of films, commercials, etc to verify that M.M. inc. has in fact had models/actors they represent placed in jobs/roles through the work of being represented by your organization? ANYONE can make the claims you have made here - how can a potential model who is being asked to pay $800 for pictures verify that you have infact placed models for hire with the organizations you claim above? As with any potential contractor I was to pay for work, I'd want to check their references and wouldn't just take their word for it that they've done what they say they've done - how do I verify this? That's what I'd like to know.

    Secondly, over and over we read cautionary tales from "real agencies" that say if someone ask's you for money -- RUN! That if an agency thinks you are worth representing, they would have their own photog's take pics of you -- why is it then that your organization doesn't do this? These are the questions I wonder when I've heard industry professionals on TV, Radio and in print say over and over and over and over .. "if somone wants you to pay for photos or asks for money up front ... RUN." So, I ask you, how can you supply checkable references, and why do models who you think have a marketable "look" have to pay for their own photos?

    Thanks and I await your response!

  • Ta
      26th of Jul, 2008
    0 Votes

    I just paid them $300 in deposit, is there any way out now??? Can I get a refund?!

  • Mp
      29th of Jul, 2008
    0 Votes

    Model Management Inc. has treated me so well since I signed with them. They have gotten me work and have really made an effort to understand my needs. The professionalism that they use is quite impressive. I love the contract terms that they abide by, it is quite convenient, and simply stated. (No BS). Twyla, my booker, has been incredibly helpful. She runs jobs by me weekly and realistically submits me for things she knows I can get. I would simply say that I love being a part of MMI. I would recommend this agency to anyone!

  • Ne
      3rd of Aug, 2008
    0 Votes

    I'd like very much to believe in the legitimacy of an agency such as this, but it is simply too easy for them to inflate their actual booking and casting experience and then use it to lure inexperienced models into buying photo services and website exposure. New talent divisions seem to be made of young model candidates on the East and West coasts who are recruited to sell photos and website exposure to other, innocent candidates who are reached en masse through free ads placed online in LA and in New York. These "talent scouts" look and seem more like salespeople. They tend to put the phone down quickly and lose email and paperwork even faster when they suspect a new client isn't willing to hand over money.

    Shouldn't "Agencies" specify the true nature of their business upfront? Perhaps some should call themselves Model Coaches, Consultants or Promotional Materials Vendors. How about that instead? If other businesses have to conform to truth in marketing standards, shouldn't modeling agencies, too?

    Find out as much as you can about an agency's founder, about their talent scouts, and also the models featured on a website. It's much easier to protect yourself from unscrupulous agents that try to sell you services you don't actually need than you may realize. Ask if an agency has ever operated under another name, and, if so, why it has changed. Remember that financial and legal matters concerning businesses are a matter of public record that can be examined, also. If an agency claims to be registered, examine the process and see if it covers their activities in more than one state. Also find out which government authority is charged with registering talent agencies, and find out what criteria are used.

    Also, gentle readers, please don't allow an agent's attorney to threaten you for discussing your experience with them in public. Should something so unfortunate happen to you, contact the American Bar Association, your state's Attorney General and an aggressive consumer reporter.

    Good luck, all of you.

    Remember to smile when you enter a room, too.

  • Ne
      5th of Aug, 2008
    0 Votes

    What a small world. There is another individual of the same name who works for the agency under discussion here. You don't think they could be the same, do you? Because it turns out that some "agencies" help models get bookings, and also offer them work selling and administering unnecessary services to non-models and innocent aspiring models who are easily impressed with hyper-inflated media credits.

    Some agencies, of course not this one (never!) are like jellyfish, with talent scouts and junior fiduciary "officers" dangling into the internet to lure and sting a lower tier of talent. In fact, sometimes the biggest proponents of some agencies are "talent" who, oops, just happen to work for the agency, too, "scouting" and "accounting", jobs like that. It would be so interesting to see an annual report with an accounting of revenue to fully understand what type of business we are discussing.

    Remember, gentle readers, "Incorporated" is a term to spread liability so that one person alone is legally responsible for any financial impropriety. So if you lose money, you may find yourself suing something that has no assets to recover, possibly no physical infrastructure at all. Sometimes, not here of course, an "Incorporated" talent agency is, in reality, a handful of bottom feeders with cell phones and a website and some of the shabbiest, thinnest, most antiquated production credits one will ever find on www.IMDb.com. Please, find out as much as you can about individuals involved in ANY business enterprise before investing ANY money, ANYwhere. Oh, and try to get e-x-t-e-r-n-a-l business references. They tend to mean more, see?

  • Ne
      5th of Aug, 2008
    0 Votes

    D'oh, Forgive me. I meant to write "'Incorporated' is a term to spread liability so that one person alone is not legally responsible for any financial impropriety." in the last paragraph of my last posting.

  • Ay
      7th of Aug, 2008
    0 Votes

    In reading the NY State Attorney General's office on modeling agencies and what they recommend - they state practices that are in contradiction to safe and/or trusted agencies, that being check first that they are licensed... don't recall anyone mentioning that when we visited nor seeing any license proudly displayed - secondly, they also note that agencies NOT to be trusted are ones such as IMBD that want you to pay for photos up front and insist on using a certain photographer. I must add that when we visited IMBD reps would not disclose who this photograher by name nor a location. We were just told we'd get that info after paying for the booking. Sounds extremely fishy and untrustworthy. Lastly, the NY State Attorney Generals office warns not to go with any modeling agency that asks for money up front, demands you buy photos (should that be required there should be NO PRESSURE to use their photographer), and that you shouldn't count on any agency using Craigslist or other newspaper ads to solicit business as being reputable agencies. We found out a bit too late and lost a deposit but at least we're not out several hundred and the time, expense and frustration associated with same. I'm wiser for the expensive experience and will go through known contacts to find a legitimate agency.
    I did find it interesting that in researching Mr. Clements background he is either the owner or affiliated with collection agencies. Makes me wonder what that is all about? This is all public information anyone can find on the internet, yet we seem to be unable as consumers of the services of his company to find out about the legitmacy of the bookings the agency claims to be able to place. It While I wanted to believe they were legitimate, their practices are contrary to what the NY State Attorney General's office warns about and similar to other fly by nights that have come and gone.

    Anyway, for those interested - this is what I found on the net regarding the owner of this "company" - Mr. Clements is listed as the owner of the following:

    BARLO LLC
    KLC COLLECTION #5 Adjustment and Collection Services
    KLC COLLECTION #5 Adjustment and Collection Services
    KURT CLEMENTS Advertising Agencies
    LIBYA ONE MERCHANT SERVICES LLC Yacht Brokers
    BARLO LLC
    BIN JABR NEW YORK, LLC
    KLC SALON, LLC
    KLC TALENT, INC
    LIBYA ONE MERCHANT SERVICES LLC

    I'd look elsewhere folks.

  • Ay
      7th of Aug, 2008
    0 Votes

    My mistake - meant Model Management instead of IMBD...(above)

  • Ne
      8th of Aug, 2008
    0 Votes

    Forgive my persistence here, but it seems as though the "world headquarters" of the agency under discussion here is the same address of a firm that specializes in office rental spaces. It also seems to shift between coasts.

    I don't pretend to know a lot about this industry, but my gut feeling is that this is in fact a group of ambitious, attractive young people who are possibly in the process of engineering a talent agency, but fortifying the enterprise with revenue derived from service/consulting/referral/website fees which are solicited in a legal, but roundabout way. I may be proven wrong when (and if) these "New Faces" find work in the industry, and I really do hope that will be the case. But I feel that an agency should represent itself as a model "packager" unless it can verify, not simply say, that the bulk of its revenue comes from actually booking clients.

    These people (no names, please) remind me of the fringe element you can see in most cosmopolitan cities. You meet youngish people in the talent industry all the time who say "Oh..I model, produce films, have a P.R. company on the side, and I scout and represent talent, too...I'm global and I'm a 'brand' ". The sensible question here is “brand of what?”.

    I may be WAY off the mark here and I hope, for all of the "New Faces" who invested money to have material produced and uploaded to the web by this agency, that I am wrong. I just really don't like to see people mislead, disappointed or threatened by asking legitimate questions about a business enterprise, an entrepreneur, director or a talent scout. Shouldn't there be transparency?

    I hope, also, that the employees of this enterprise understand the nature of the business the have attached themselves to, and that the “talent scouts” understand that their names and reputations are on the front line here. Three of them seem to be aspiring models who have been recruited to sell photo packages and website exposure to “new faces” who have a lot less potential in the industry than they are being led to believe. These consumers, “New Faces”, may be soft targets who are being told that they can find work modeling, on television and in film if they buy photos, website exposure or a trip to France to gain access to the “right” people. Does this access in fact exist? Is it fully documented? Where?

    Please, readers, exercise caution when dealing with ANY agents (real or imagined) and do your research. Follow each link, visit each “address”, print out copies of web pages before they disappear or change. Many consumers with stars in their eyes may eventually end up seeing red when they figure things out. Ask questions first, then invest. What is technically legal may not always be ethical.

  • Va
      22nd of Aug, 2008
    0 Votes

    Wow, M.Powers either you copied and pasted your reply claiming how much you love MMI directly from thier website or you are one of their bookers trolling the web trying to convince people that your agency is not a scam...

    M. Powers Response:

    "Model Management Inc. has treated me so well since I signed with them. They have gotten me work and have really made an effort to understand my needs. The professionalism that they use is quite impressive. I love the contract terms that they abide by, it is quite convenient, and simply stated. (No BS). Twyla, my booker, has been incredibly helpful. She runs jobs by me weekly and realistically submits me for things she knows I can get. I would simply say that I love being a part of MMI. I would recommend this agency to anyone!"

    And now, the testimonial from MMI's website:

    "Model Management Inc. has treated me so well since I signed with them. They have gotten me work and have really made an effort to understand my needs. The professionalism that they use is quite impressive. I love the contract terms that they abide by, it is quite convenient, and simply stated. (No BS). My booker, has been incredibly helpful. She runs jobs by me weekly and realistically submits me for things she knows I can get. I would simply say that I love being a part of MMI. I would recommend this agency to anyone!"


    The same EXACT statement word for word... I smell a rat...

  • Da
      23rd of Aug, 2008
    0 Votes

    I've been an active, employed photographer for years and we 're asked all the time about model agencies. The number one rule is that you NEVER pay up front. Folks, please don't let your "hopes" and general positive faith in mankind become obscured by your gut instincts or common sense. Never pay upfront. Also, who wouldn't agree that this particular controversy involved with this agency would have been resolved years ago and that they would have done away with this rotten element to maintain good customer service. They would have done away with it a long time ago if it WASN'T their bread and butter. In other words, why wouldn't a company immediately remove the most fishiest and untrusted aspect of their company if it wasn't their life's blood. All reputable companies are very quick to "fix" any circumstance involving bad publicity.

  • Ma
      28th of Aug, 2008
    0 Votes

    I must say that $795.00 is not that much money for a professional portfolio. The standard payment for MMI is to take 20% of the model's fee after booking. It seems to me that they would want to book people for assignments because that is how they make money. MMI is not --I repeat--not making money off of $795.00 portfolio fee. After all, the photographer, make-up artist and hair stylist also need to be paid, which is included in that $795.00 fee. If anyone truly believes that MMI is striking gold off of portfolio fees, you really need to take basic math.

  • Sm
      29th of Aug, 2008
    0 Votes

    OMG thank you so much whoever started this blog. I was going to drive all the way out there tomorrow and am now glad to save my gas money. You more details are brought up, the more uneasy I feel.
    thanks so much for the warning and I'm glad i did my research.

  • Aj
      24th of Sep, 2008
    0 Votes

    i just sat here and read everyones comments and i must ssay its quite hilarious!...i am an actor looking for additional work. i am registered with backstage.com and have gotten alot of work from casting notices posted there. i sent my pix and resume to MMI(model management inc) and i got an email saying "i like your look" and to come in 2mrrw for a closed casting call...im soooooooooooooooooooooooo glad i read the info on here...the better business bureau graded them a C...which didnt help the situation either...so i dont think i will waste my well earned money or time to go to this stupid "audtion"...thank u very much newmadface...and yes vanity r i was thinking the same thing when i read that posting about how MMI has treated me so well etc...and u actually found the posting! HA...that made my day! anyway thanks everyone:-)

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