Federal Lawsuits against Modeling Companies


“It’s our experience that some companies may tend to mislead [prospects] on the number of models needed in a particular area, their own suitability to be a model, and the efforts to be done on their behalf.” — Larry Hodapp, Assistant Director, FTC Enforcement Division


“Ask your local Better Business Bureau, consumer protection agency, and state Attorney General if there are any unresolved consumer complaints on file about the company.” — Federal Trade Commission


“Consumers can and should complain to us directly -- call 1-877-FTC-HELP or fill out the online form (www.ftc.gov). You can write a pretty long narrative about your experience online.” — Federal Trade Commission


The FTC has the mandate, power, and authority to investigate and prosecute all modeling scams in America. They have done undercover investigations, sued, and shut down fraudulent modeling businesses after receiving consumer complaints.

"The Federal Trade Commission is an independent agency of the United States Government created by statute. 15 U.S.C. §§ 41 et seq. The Commission is charged, inter alia, with enforcement of Section 5(a) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. § 45(a), which prohibits unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce. The Commission is authorized to initiate federal district court proceedings, by its own attorneys, to enjoin violations of the FTC Act in order to secure such equitable relief as may be appropriate in each case. 15 U.S.C. § 53(b)."

The FTC sued National Talent Associates, a modeling and talent agency which charged upfront fees of $300, and deceived consumers about the value of their company. They were able to get only about 2% of their models paid modeling jobs.

FTC Seeks to Close Down Fraudulent Model and Talent Scout Operation

The Federal Trade Commission also educates consumers based on their lawsuits, publishing a brief guide on May 26, 1999:

In its continuing effort to educate consumers on how to avoid being victims of modeling scams, the agency today released a new consumer brochure, "If You've Got 'the Look' ... Look Out! Avoiding Modeling Scams." The brochure cautions consumers about what unscrupulous model and talent scouts say versus what they may mean. It explains the difference between modeling or talent agencies and modeling or acting schools, and offers tips on how to avoid being a victim. The brochure also tells consumers where to complain if they think they have been scammed by a bogus model or talent scout.

Modeling Agencies Sued by Federal Trade Commission

FTC v. National Talent Associates, Inc.

  • http://www.ftc.gov/opa/predawn/F85/natltalent.htm

  • http://www.ftc.gov/opa/predawn/F85/natltalpet.htm

  • http://www.ftc.gov/opa/predawn/F86/natltalmod.htm

  • http://www.ftc.gov/opa/1996/06/talent.htm

  • http://www.ftc.gov/opa/1999/05/talent4.htm

United States v. National Talent Associates, Inc.

  • http://www.ftc.gov/os/1999/05/or_inj3.htm

FTC v. Screen Test U.S.A., Inc.

  • http://www.ftc.gov/opa/1999/05/screen.htm

  • http://www.ftc.gov/os/1999/05/scrtro.htm

  • http://www.ftc.gov/os/1999/05/scrrevd.htm

  • http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2000/02/screentestusa.htm

  • Florida Attorney General News Release
    http://legal1.firn.edu/newsrel.nsf/b57e80b88fcebfad85256403005cbc7a/
    ef731b19b390dc028525677e0066d26c!OpenDocument

FTC v. Model 1, Inc.

  • http://www.ftc.gov/opa/1999/05/model-1.htm

  • http://www.ftc.gov/opa/1999/08/model1-2.htm

  • http://www.ftc.gov/os/1999/05/model1cmp.htm

  • http://www.ftc.gov/os/1999/08/
    model1incfinalconsent.htm

FTC v. The Erickson Agency, Inc.

  • http://www.ftc.gov/opa/1999/10/erickson.htm

  • http://www.ftc.gov/os/1999/05/model1cmp.htm

FTC v. Creative Talent Management, Inc.

  • http://www.ftc.gov/opa/1999/10/erickson.htm

  • http://www.ftc.gov/opa/1999/05/model-1.htm

  • http://www.ftc.gov/os/1999/05/model1cmp.htm

  • http://www.ftc.gov/os/1999/08/
    model1incfinalconsent.htm