Employment/Talent/Modeling Agency Regulations in the United States
Prospective models may automatically assume, naturally conclude, or be easily convinced advertising fees are legitimate expenses to launch a modeling career. Exposure, after all, is necessary, but how can you get exposure if you don't pay for advertising? And why should anyone else have to pay for advertising to get models work?
There are different kinds of promotional materials or visual advertising for new and successful models, some of which are industry standards, and others occasionally used, including photos, comp cards, post cards, portfolios, "books," and CDs.
Advertising fees, however, are banned in several states.
Most if not all the regulations banning advertising fees in their various forms were created before the internet became mainstream, but website hosting of comp cards and portfolios by agencies is simply another form of advertising. The purpose and target audience are the same; the only difference is the medium.
Therefore, where laws do not allow agencies to require models to pay for advertising, requiring them to pay for advertising online is illegal.
The regulations are clearly designed to prevent agencies from making money off upfront fees, instead of, or in addition to, commissions on work done by models.
Advertising and promotion is the job and financial responsibility of the agents and the agencies. If they truly have experience, skill, and contacts, and they sincerely believe a new model has real potential, they have to take the financial risks. The onus is on them to advertise and promote.
Agencies cannot require subscription to a publication, post card service, advertisement, resume service, photographer, video or audio tapes.
Agents cannot require a subscription to a publication, post card service, or advertisement.
Employment agencies cannot require talent to subscribe to any publication or "incidental service or contribute to the cost of advertising."
Employment agencies cannot require talent to subscribe to publications, or photographic service, postal card service, or letter service or to contribute to the cost of advertising.
Agencies cannot require talent to buy subscriptions or contribute to advertising.
Employment agencies cannot charge a fee more than $5 for advertising or reference checks, nor require talent to subscribe to any publication.
Employment agencies cannot charge "fees of any kind for the registration of applicants," or subscription to a publication, or as a contribution to advertising.
Agents cannot accept fees for "a service rendered or a product sold" if no employment has been accepted.
Agencies cannot require subscription to a publication or require talent to contribute to advertising.
Agencies cannot charge talent for advertising, post card service, video or audio tapes, resumes, photographs, or require subscription to a publication.
Agencies cannot require subscription to a publication.
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