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When is a model agency not an agency?

There is huge confusion facing people interested in modelling and below we explain how and why...

There are plenty of catchy online 'modelling companies' offering so called 'essential modelling and talent services'.

What they usually offer, is either a 'showcase' opportunity, where they suggest 'you may be contacted',  'cant live without' advice, or flashy, studio and location photo-shoots, followed by expensive photographs, all of which, somewhere along the line, you will be expected to buy.

'Star Now', 'Models Connect' and 'UK Models' are just a few of many online companies who are not model agencies but instead are 'showcases' and offer these fluffy services, with no prospect of finding paid modelling work.

Buy way of example, Models Connect quote: 'Models Connect Ltd does not actively seek work for members, only gives access to modelling and casting agencies to use the website and search for new faces.' ...this admission is buried deep in the small grey print and not what you want to hear as a model looking for work.

'UK Models' make it very clear with a 'tick box' on their home page confirming they are not an agency and therefor legally cannot find their models work, what is on offer instead, is a pricey photoshoot.

These businesses and many more, admit usually in tiny print, on their web sites, they are not an Employment Agency and therefore, legally cannot place models in paid work.
To do that, they would need to be a modelling Employment Agency, regulated by Employment Legislation.

What is an Employment Agency?

Here is an dictionary definition: An Employment Agency is a company whose business is to help talented people find work and help employers to find the people they need.

Any business which is not an Employment Agency, is therefor unable to legally place models in work - simple as that.

Finding work for any agency is the tricky bit. It's far easier for a 'modelling business' not to be an Employment Agency thereby avoid legal compliance and instead only give advice or take photos, thereby dodging all the rules, regulations, responsibilities and risk penalties.

Some modelling companies are more up-front than others in admitting their legal limitations, in not offering to find work, others, less scrupulous take your money and hope you don't know the difference.

It's important to state that, although our Government do not operate any licensing authority for Model Employment Agencies, we are nonetheless limited, restricted and regulated by Government legislation as to how we behave operate in our business placing models in work.

Hence the public confusion, there is no easily identifiable stamp, mark or logo to differentiate between model agencies finding models work and complying with legislation and 'modelling companies' fluffing the work issue to their advantage, by using smoke and mirrors often to the point of deception.

We maintain, at Models Direct, it is high time there ought to be an identifiable logo to clearly differentiate Model Agencies who operate within Employment Legislation and are subject to it, in finding models paid work.

In creating and displaying our logo, we believe this is a responsible and justifiable step in the right direction to resolve what is otherwise a confusing market place to young people making informed choices.

Think 'Red Tractor', 'Organic', 'Sustainable Forest', 'Fair Trade' logos - simple, bold, meaningful with integrity and everyone knows where they are.

Does Models Direct find modelling work?

Yes we do. 'Models Direct' is a Government regulated Employment Agency and we have been successfully placing many of our men, women, and child models in paid, part-time work for more than 30 years.

We are regularly inspected by and subject to HM Government's Employment Agency Inspectorate, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

As an Employment Agency, Models Direct is subject to very strict do's and don'ts and big penalties for getting it wrong.

It is no longer legal to charge for registration simply as a model and therefore, our service for this is free. To be considered for opportunities in the film, TV, theatre, music and the entertainment industries, we charge a small, one-off admin fee.

We make it very clear to all our applicants, in person, on the phone, in our website, registering with us does not in anyway guarantee work.

We place our models in work as and when the opportunity arises. That is, when their e-portfolio has been viewed and they have been selected by clients. Whereupon we check the models availability, the clients' validity, manage the booking details, day, date, time, place, negotiate and collect the model fee, which we hold in our Client Account until payment to the model, less our agreed retention, within 5 days of the completed booking.

This we have been doing for over 30 years and it is our pleasure to continue doing so, although we emphasise it is a highly competitive industry and as with all agencies, model, acting, dance, theatre or employment, there are no guarantees of work.

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This is what we do:

  • We look for work for those registered with us, film, TV, advertising, fashion, walk-ons, extras, as well as the entertainment industries - your work is our business. Our website has almost 1m visitors annually.

  • We check out the authenticity of clients, making sure they are genuine - your safety comes first.

  • We negotiate the best fees, collect them from the client before the booking and pay our models, less our agreed retention within 5 days - good to have fun, better to have fun and be paid.

  • We manage the assignment keeping our models and clients fully informed along the way - we work hard to avoid no doubts, no worries, no hiccups, and after the assignment follow-up on both sides with 'happiness checks'.

  • We are respected by clients and models alike in the industry since 1990 - we must be doing something right.

We look forward to processing your 'New Model' registration with us and if suitable, when selected, puting you forward to our thousands of clients in the UK for paid work and; if you want, overseas. Travel with us, is expenses paid.

As Europe's' leading Model Employment Agency, we say at the outset, “it depends what you're looking for” - advice, photos and a showcase, or, Models Direct, a trusted and experienced Employment Agency who is Government regulated and will look to find you modelling work? Your choice.

If you're still undecided as to what's best for you, come and meet us at our UK Head Office you'll be made very welcome.

We even offer to pay half your travel costs in getting here - as far as we know that is a unique offer in the industry! Ask for details.

If you'd like to chat through your registration, talk to one of our experienced support team now on 0844 334 0000 option 3.

More about Models Direct:

The UK Models Direct Team... come and see us and watch us in action, we're not just a website!

Find out more about our modelling agency here.

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