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  • Report: #361401

Complaint Review: Model Management Group, NYMMG, MMG

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  • Submitted: Sun, August 10, 2008
  • Updated: Thu, May 08, 2014

  • Reported By:New York New York
Model Management Group, NYMMG, MMG
1024 6th Avenue, 2nd Floor Nationwide U.S.A.

Model Management Group, NYMMG, MMG SCAM AGENCY BE CAREFUL! SCAM! Charges over $1800 for photoshoot, digital portfolio, web maintenance ALL FOR NOTHING New York

*Consumer Comment: MMG's Rebuttal Completely False

*Consumer Comment: mmg complaint not legitimate

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: MMG'S RESPONSE TO THESE MISLEADING AND INACCURATE REPORTS

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Jeff Cohen takes your money!

*Consumer Comment: This report is completely incorrect and misleading

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My niece recently signed with MMG - Model Management Group. They have two websites (nymmg.com and modelmanagementgroup.com). Because of her booker's flowering promises, she decided to invest in her 'career'. She recently had a photoshoot (paid for the complete package for make up artist, hairstylist and wardrobe person). She went home very unhappy. The crew was very professional but she felt like she was robbed. The hairstylist is also the photographer, who did questionable styles with her hair like pigtails and side ponytails. She is 15! The next model who came after her to do the photoshoot did not look like a model at all. Unproportioned body and very short for a model. This alarmed her and her mother immediately. It's stated on the site that they represent actors as well, but it seems as if they have no requirements for their talents at all. Perhaps a credit card and a little bit of 'hope' is all it takes.

I decided to do more research and it looks like this agency has changed names many times - 411 Model, Options Talent, Transcontinental Talent. A big STOP sign for any parent that did some research! These people have to be stopped. My niece and her mother don't want to complain because they paid already, and are both 'hoping' that they get something out of it. I am writing this in hopes of getting other clients' attention, and to stop future clients.

They will work with anyone who pays money up front, and they tell everyone they have some type of talent, whether or not they really do. The fact that they charge up front for signing fees and photo shoots is a big NO-NO sign.

I am good friends with an agent at Ford and she took one look at my niece and told me frankly that she has no potential whatsoever. Any agency that will sign her will take advantage of her money and her dreams. I am not one to tell anybody what they can't be. My sister is a nurse and knows nothing about the industry. She is a mother first and foremost that only wants to support her child's dreams. I am guessing this is the case for all the other clients of MMG. Perhaps 5% of their models are successful, and the rest of the models pay for the agency's office rent, the booker's salary, the photographer and her crew, and the owners expensive apartments and vacations. This is very sad, and it is a reality.

They possess all the trappings of a fake modeling agency that makes money from photo shoots and printing comp cards. Here is what her booker emailed her -

"The whole photo shoot including hair, make-up, retouching and a copy of the CD mailed to your house costs $900. The photographer also has an amazing wardrobe stylist who brings clothing + accessories. The stylist charges $200 for the service and it available upon request. I would also like to have theatrical headshots done for her. If taken the same day, the photographer charges only an extra $510.

Then we will need to get a Digital Portfolio set up for her, which is though MMG. It is a computer version of her portfolio book on our website- www.nymmg.com- secure by username and password. The Digital Portfolio will be for our company use. The bookers will be submitting her to casting directors digitally via computer most of the time. Our electronic submissions account for 70%-90% of all submissions. You will receive your own username and password to fill out your personal information: sports, languages, music instruments, accents, etc. A set up fee for the Digital Portfolio is $200 and the maintenance fee for a full year of submissions costs $250. After that we will print out composite cards for you. We will get 100 of them. The composite cards cost $260 and we will keep 75 for the booking room and you will receive 25 of them to take with you to castings and auditions. Printing headshots cost $220 for 100 and we will send you all of them. You will attach your updated resume to 25 of them and send them back, when we need more we will contact you to send more."

To the parents, I know you want to support your child. But please do more research. ALL reputable agencies require NO FEES. In fact, they give their models advance money, a model apartment, and set them up with photographers for free. Be careful of scouts at modeling conventions because these are the easiest ways for them to find their blind and hopeful 'prey'.

Kido2008
New York, New York
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/10/2008 07:30 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Model-Management-Group-NYMMG-MMG/nationwide/Model-Management-Group-NYMMG-MMG-SCAM-AGENCY-BE-CAREFUL-SCAM-Charges-over-1800-for-ph-361401. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author 4Consumer 1Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

MMG's Rebuttal Completely False

AUTHOR: anonymous - ()

MMG knows the laws and does not REQUIRE you to purchase the ridiculously overpriced photo packages and "web maintenance" fees. However, they will email and bully you in an attempt to intimidate you into buying these useless packages. They also make it clear that if you do not give all your money to them, you will never get work. It really is laughable how transparent they are.

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#2 Consumer Comment

mmg complaint not legitimate

AUTHOR: Marissa's Mom - (U.S.A.)

My daughter Marissa was signed by MMG after a Model Search America convention. MSA is very selective about what agencies and casting directors they let come, if that tells you more about how well-regarded they are in the industry.

We have since been to New York for work (from Michigan, no less) many times. Doubters should check out the web sites of Michael Frost, or Keith Major, two photographers Marissa recently worked with. Michael Frost works with everyone in New York, and Keith Major has shot Tyra, Beyonce, Queen Latifah, etc. Michael Frost shot her cover for The Goose Girl, by Shannon Hale- check it out on Amazon.com, or in Borders. Keith shot her for Say What! We've had awesome experiences and have always been treated well by MMG.

Marissa is making a lot of money for college, and plans to move to New York to attend college, and continue working for MMG to pay for both college and living expenses. Every time we've been to the offices they've been on the phone with some big show or business, booking actors and models. At our last job, we worked with a model from Ford, who was actually considering switching to MMG from Ford.

We did decide to take advantage of a photographer they recommended and we got some amazing pictures and ownership of the CD they're on. The photographer we had take pictures first charged us for each individual picture and they weren't industry-ready. We were so glad we followed their recommendations, because they are EXPERTS in the industry, and those pictures (yes, some of them in pigtails and ponytails because of her age-14) as well as the representation of MMG, who have a reputation for providing dependable, hard-working, beautiful models. We didn't know what we were doing when we first started (I'm also a nurse) and they've led us every step of the way. The more we learn about the industry, the more happy we are that we signed with MMG!

They have stressed how important it is for Marissa to do well in school, eat well, exercise, get enough sleep, keep a balanced life. I've felt like they really cared about her as a person, not just as a money-maker. They've also stressed that modeling is a business, and for her not to take it personally when she doesn't book a job.

This summer we are attending IMTA (see their website), where only the top agencies are represented. Guess who's going to be there? MMG! So check out the teen section of MMG, and see my successful daughter represented there!

Marissa's Mom
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#3 REBUTTAL Owner of company

MMG'S RESPONSE TO THESE MISLEADING AND INACCURATE REPORTS

AUTHOR: Jeff Cohen - (U.S.A.)

I have read the comments posted on this site regarding MMG or our website nymmg.com and of course references to other companies.

While people would like to make it appear that we often change our name or have real complaints the facts just won't support it.

MMG has been in business as MMG since 2002, MMG used to be short for Model Management Group and our website is nymmg.com because MMG.COM was already taken. These are not 3 separate names or companies. MMG represents models of all ages, actors, recording artists and celebrities. MMG branded more as just Modeling Company once it started representing Actors and Rerording Artists and Celebrities.

MMG, nor Model Management Group has ever had any legal action or complaint ever filed against it with any government or consumer agency. MMG is not a paying member of the New York Better Business Bureau only because then it can't be said we have a spotless record because we are a paying member. A check with the Better Business Bureau of New York will show that there has not been one complaint filed against MMG or Model Management Group in over 3 years. Also, Model 411 never was connected to any other company, and is not the same exact ownership of MMG and was never a part of any organization ever involved in wrongdoing. MMG was never associated with a company call Model Scouts, these are statements made by people who just do not know what they are talking about. So, considering the number of people we meet per year, which is easily over 6,000, I would say that having a clean and spotless record is something few other companies could ever boast about. Also, MMG's clients are among the best in the world as we deal with every major TV and Cable Network, Feature Film and Magazine company.

As for those that question upfront fees or costs. MMG does not require any fees for representation and quite often never even charges for expenses we incur messaging packages and making hard copy packages for our clients. The confusion comes not from those that are represented by MMG but from those either related to someone we represent or someone we have chosen not to represent.

MMG does not represent high fashion models and therefore does not pay for its models development. Most of our models are non-exclusive and work with many managers and agents. Even high fashion agencies today only put only a few models on account, the rest have to pay for their own materials.

MMG is currently ranked in the top 1/2 of 1% of all management companies in the world. If MMG was not a good company why would it be a top ranked company, have over 6 international celebrities signed to it and have a celebrity division that currently has 4 of its models and actors starring on primetime TV and over 3 of its recording artists have gold records.

Currently MMG represents stars on Fox TV's American Idol, ABC's True Beauty, NBC's Momma's Boy an 2 former finalists of America's Next Top Model. It is inconceivable that stars would flock to and sign exclusively with a company that wasn't one of the best.

All negative posts I have ever seen have been anonymous, we of course, would take legal action if we knew who the posters were. I myself have a former Law Enforcement Background my credentials and integrity are a matter of record after passing the most extensive State Police and Federal background check that can be given. To this day I maintain the highest security clearance possible.

If anyone believes any of these posts have any validity that we wish you well and hope you find a company suitable to your needs. But a check with any consumer agency, or consumer advocacy department of the City government will back up that we have a spotless record and have never be part of anything illegitimate.

If you note the anonymous posters, they have never been in contact with us directly or have their own agenda. The employee post was just absurd and wrong. In 6 years of business we have grabbed a significant share of the market and I guess that has some people pretty worried.

So check the Better Business Bureau and the Department of Consumer Affairs and see what they have to say because there have been no complaints.

As for that aunt of the child, at least 50% of the people who tell someone they can't make it have been proven wrong. The clients decide who will make it and I can't tell you how many of our current successful stars were told by someone, even by Ford they would never make it and then eventually signed by Ford after they realized they were wrong.. Everyone is an expert in our industry, fortunately, it is not them who decides who will make or not but the client.

Also, just for fun, if you search on Ford Model Management or Elite Model Management on this same site, you'll see the same types of accusations and complaints, all anonymous. In addition, if you type in Disney or McDonald's you'll see tons of people calling them a scam. Compared to most we actually have very little to deal with but unfortunately because these sites are protected by law and are not liable for what is posted, there is nothing we can do but tell our side of the story.

Only Fashion Agencies possibly will front expenses, in certain cases we do help out but that is a business decision made case by case. We do not front and we also do not charge advance fees. Today our models are just not as devoted or dependable as in the past and often wake up one morning and decide they no longer feel like modeling or jsut decide they want to move. We wish we were wealthy enough to pay for everyone but I don't think anyone today is in that position.

But the acts are, we use our models materials when they are good and we do not require they pay for representation or for us to submit them for jobs. Anyone that has decided to pay for something asked us to get it for them, we did not require them to get it through or from us. In fact our contracts clearly state that nothing is required to be purchased from MMG in order for us to work with them. But we are not going to win jobs in the NY market without quality materials and it is the models responsibility to get them and give them to us.

Also, MMG only places in high fashion we manage and submit our talent in all other areas. We are not a scouting company and individuals who we have determined not to be of the standards we require are now with other companies and probably are the ones posting the absurd remarks.

So, I hope I answered the comments and questions that may have been caused by the freedom to post unsubstantiated and anonymous comments without fear of being sued for libel and defamation but if not. I or any of my employees, which number 8 in total will be happy to discuss any of your concerns further.
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#4 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Jeff Cohen takes your money!

AUTHOR: Drama Free - (U.S.A.)

I worked for MMG for several years. Thier "bookers" are verything from strippers to pornstars. Don't waste your time!
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#5 Consumer Comment

This report is completely incorrect and misleading

AUTHOR: Modelgirlny - (U.S.A.)

I have been a model for this company for five years and will continue to do so for a long time. I started with MMG when I was 15 and have been selected 2 times for Top Modelings shows like project runway and America's Next Top Model. The report is so false it borders on insane. It is not even written by the actual person involved, rather a no it all aunt with strong opinions that her niece is not model material.MMG was never part of any other organization, it only has been connected because of other false reports which the author of this report relies on as fact.

MMG is reputable and has an "A" list of clients and more than 50% work on major shows and projects for networks like ABC, NBC, CBC and all movies in NYC. The models have been Abercrmbie Models and Vogue Models and Catalog models. If she really did her homework she would have looked at their success story section which is amazing, especially the range of work. As for the costs, It costs nothing to be represented by MMG. They got me from NYCastings and I never paid a dime. If this lady's niece decided to have there material done through MMG it was their decision. It is not required that anyone purchase anything. They offer a photographer they rep if you can't find one on your own. She mentions Ford and Ford want to have the same photographer shoot for them. As for her friend at Ford, this is such a subjective industry, a friend of mine, was rejected by Ford but then signed when MMG took her back in.

As far as companies today paying for a models marketing materials, good luck, times have changed and when they did it was for high fashion only. MMG deals with commercial models that work in print, tv and film in both NYC and LA. I wasn't going to even respond to her but if you look at the work done by MMG models and see their ranking by IMDB, as one of the top in the world, at IMDB.com and when you see how many celebrities they represent, you just wonder why someone would feel the need to trash their own niece and a company that is doing great things for us models that want to work. She seriously needs help.
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