CHICAGO, IL – Talent and modeling agencies that specialize in children are continuing to attract the interest of parents. Some of this attention is likely fueled by reality TV programs that highlight kids. The Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois (BBB) warns parents that some of these agencies take advantage of parents’ pride and use emotions, rather than practical expectations, to gain clients and obtain payments for their services.
The BBB has seen a three percent increase in inquiries about modeling and talent agencies within the past 12 months. The organization cautions parents and others to remain objective when evaluating opportunities and to be very careful when signing contracts. It recommends all agreements be in writing.
“Child modeling can be something parents are easily get drawn into,” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “They see this as an opportunity for their child, one that could make money and even fame, so too often they get overcome with excitement. This can cloud their judgment and they may fail to look at the reality of the situation or read a contract with a clear head.”
For individuals who are approached by talent or modeling agencies the BBB recommends:
- Do Your Research – Illinois requires a talent agency or modeling school to be licensed and bonded; confirm the company meets those requirements. Always check the company out with the Better Business Bureau by visiting www.bbb.orgÂ Â
- Beware of Big Promises and High Pressure Sales Pitches – In the modeling world, income is never guaranteed and jobs can be sporadic. Consider it a red flag if the sales pitch promises many jobs and big earnings or uses high pressure tactics to get you to sign up. If the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.Â Â
- Read the Fine Print and Get Everything in Writing – Take time and read the agreement or contract carefully, paying close attention to details regarding refunds and options if dissatisfied. Make sure that all verbal promises are in the agreement. Â Â
- Complain if You’ve Been Ripped Off – If you feel you’ve been misled by a modeling or talent agency, file a complaint with your BBB at www.bbb.org
For more advice on finding businesses and services you can trust, visit www.bbb.org