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BBC Newsbeat Models Directs Response

Press Release: December 08, 2009

BBC Newsbeat Models Directs Response

Following the BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat feature on modelling agencies, leading agency Models Direct feel it necessary to clarify some of the matters raised in the programme.

The main themes of the Newsbeat report were:

The reasons for agency fees, and how different agencies approach them
Legalities and approaches surrounding the seven-day cooling off period
The validity of application processes
The promotion and support of models once signed to an agency
Realistic expectations regarding the frequency that models may be selected for assignments
Authenticity of client lists, testimonials and business premises

Agency fees and how different agencies approach them

Scam agencies may approach members of the public posing as a legitimate modelling agency, often by way of casting sessions in hotels, where they inevitably proceed to charge large fees for representation with no intention of working on the behalf of those they recruit.
Models Direct charge an upfront fee for representation, which covers the cost of inclusion in their work-seeking publication. At 70 pence per week they do not feel it to be an unreasonable charge for the service that they offer. The company employs a team of dedicated professionals at their head office who work hard to give people a platform from which to launch their careers in modelling or entertainment.

Legalities surrounding the seven-day cooling off period

Government legislation currently establishes a seven-day cooling off period, without stating who is responsible for publishing details of it. Some agencies may take advantage of this fact by failing to highlight it to their models.
However, in the case of Models Direct a statement drawing attention to the cooling off period is placed boldly on our Modelling Offer of Representation letter to successful applicants and is also clearly apparent on our Terms and Conditions. There is no statutory requirement for us to do this, instead we believe it to be fair, and in the best interests of the model in line with current legislation which they might not otherwise be aware of.

The validity of application processes

At Models Direct each new model application we receive is unsolicited. Unlike many agencies, we do not scout for models, approach people on the street or in anyway tempt or cajole models to apply. We fully consider each individual applicants circumstances, before making an Offer of Representation.

The promotion and support of models once signed to an agency

Scam agencies do not work on models behalf to secure bookings, nor do they offer ongoing promotion and support.
Every model registered with Models Direct appears in our online publication. They may also appear in our quarterly magazine Image or be featured in articles relating to the company. To enhance each models chances of selection by a client, every model registered with us is given a personal user id and password to access their account, monitor and update their e-Portfolio and photographs. They can also access information and graphs to see how often and when, they have been included in client searches.
In addition to these features and benefits - which are helpful to any models career development - we also email our models every time they are put forward for work by a member of our team. To our knowledge we are the only agency who offers these personalised online services to models.

Realistic expectations regarding the frequency that models may be selected for assignments

As one of the most successful agencies in Europe and the UK, Models Direct has represented many models during 20 years of trading. While it is regrettable that some of the models represented will not be selected by clients for an assignment, it is also unrealistic to expect a guarantee of regular modelling work for all. In fact, no agency can guarantee regular work to those they represent.
We make every effort to address any discrepancy between reality and expectation by emphasising the competitive nature of the industry, and there is a clear statement on the website explaining this fact. As with any selection process, there will be models who are disappointed. This is the nature of the industry and is a fact that professional models are very much aware of. A booking requiring one model means only one will be chosen, yet 30 may have been proposed; the maths is very straightforward.
Despite this, we have many models who have been selected by clients within days, even hours of registering and genuine testimonies illustrating this.

Authenticity of client lists, testimonials and business premises

Many of the scam agencies you may come across have no business premises, making it very easy for them to avoid being held to account for unethical practice.
Models Direct are a BIS registered, legitimate agency who will pay half of your costs (within UK) in order that you may travel up and meet the team in person and take a look around the head office. Our client lists and testimonials can be viewed on the website and in Image magazine.
Every one of the clients listed is genuine. Every testimonial is genuine.
As the Newsbeat programme discovered during its investigation, baby models from Models Direct have featured in both Mistresses and Eastenders and in numerous publications relating to these BBC shows.

In fact Models Direct have, and continue to, provide models to many high profile clients - a recent example being the face of Midways Princess Debut game for the Nintendo DS, MD model Yasamine. You can read about Yasamines experience, along with many others from satisfied Models Direct models, here - http://www.modelsdirect.com/our-models-say.php?section=teenagers

Notes to editors

For more information, please contact:

suzy o'connorsuzy o'connor

Tel: +44 (0)871 224 6000+44 (0)871 224 6000

Email: press@modelsdirect.compress@modelsdirect.com

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