Showcase Agency v Employment Agency

Published: 15th May 2023

Let’s start this blog by introducing a sporting analogy. Though the differences between a showcase agency and an employment agency are resolutely clear, it would be a good idea to compare the two using a contrast with which most people can easily identify. You see, the above title match-up is rather like a game between the All Star Fantasy Football team and a Primary School Football Third team (no offence intended to the young ones out there!)

The two are miles apart, both in reputation and achieving results on which they should be judged by models.

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For models, the critical aspect to consider is: which is an industry professional that has a secure client list, whose job is to put forward suitable models for respectable, well-paid jobs? Only the employment agency can do this! A reputable employment agency – like us – actively looks for work on behalf of our wonderful models. Also important is the method we adhere to so that the process from start to finish runs smoothly, safely and successfully. All models should bear in mind the following points that Models Direct abide by:

1. The safety of our models is paramount, and when a model is offered an assignment, they have the right to accept it or decline it for any reason.

2. All our clients have been safety-checked; we wouldn’t ask a model to attend a job without knowing the client. We’re proud to have a comprehensive client list.

3. We pay all our models within five working days – this is a statutory deadline that we respect.

4. We are inspected regularly by the Department of Employment, Office of Fair Trading and the UK Department of Business – and we encourage this to happen! As we take our role sincerely, we were asked to make a contribution to the consultative document which resulted in The Employment Act – that is, the legislation that governs all employment agencies. Allow us to give ourselves a pat on the back for that one! After all, how many companies can legitimately say that?

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To delve a bit deeper into our business, models need to know that:

1. We negotiate the best fees for our models, and we have an in-house booking team that knows exactly what our clients are after.

2. Our booking team also makes sure our models know what the job brief is, and handle all the logistics.

3. The booking is started by one simple call from the client – we do all the rest!

4. We deal with contracts, licences and all the business aspects of the booking procedures.

5. We represent talent right across the UK and internationally – our net is cast far and wide!

6. Our clients save time because we put forward a shortlist of models who fit their requirements.

7. Oh…and we’ve been at the top of our game for more than 30 years. All our models and clients are comforted by our experience, and know they are in the best hands.

Let’s “flip the coin” and reveal what a showcase agency does (which is, incidentally, very little). A showcase modelling agency is almost the exact opposite of a legitimate employment agency, and it’s vital that models of all experience and ages should know this. It’s of benefit to all models, because many of these showcase agencies will happily take money up-front after making bogus claims and giving models false hopes. They really are the Primary School Third team compared to the elite players of genuine employment agencies. These are the points all models should be aware of (or should that be “beware of”?)

1. Showcase agencies are not legally permitted to find work for their models. And why’s that? Because they are not governed, allowing them to “promise” just about anything they wish to naïve hopefuls.

2. Many of them demand money prior to actually doing anything!

3. They use misleading information to attract a model’s attention and ask models for their portfolio, deceiving them into thinking clients will see their talents. They don’t! 

4. Many showcase agencies ask for professional photos as part of their process. This could well be a scam, so a red light should flash if asked for them!

If you’re a company looking for diverse models and talented entertainers – be it dancers, actors or singers – have a look here. Our professional booking team will be in touch as soon as they can.

Please don’t confuse respectable employment agencies with showcase agencies. Only one is legally allowed to find models work, and only one has clients with a genuine need for models – and it’s not showcase agencies.

Don’t fall foul of their false claims, and stay safe and happy out there!

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