• Report: #828372
Complaint Review:

model placement center

  • Submitted: Wed, January 25, 2012
  • Updated: Sun, January 29, 2012

  • Reported By: Crystal — atlanta Georgia USA
model placement center
126 3rd avenue north safety harbor, Florida United States of America

model placement center boom modeling SCAMERS safety harbor, Florida

*Author of original report: MORE INTERESTING INFORMATION

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Ok I brought my daughter to Model Placement Center where I had spoken to Dianne Paulson about getting her in the business. She proceeded to tell me that she could have my daughter booked or get her work no problem, what she did is take several thousand dollars from me and has done nothing in return but give us substandard photos, not to mention that I caught Chloe in several lies. Dianne tells people that they come from NY its a lie I did background checks on the company and Dianne and her staff are all from Florida. I had also given Dianne my Credit Card number which she ran several times WITHOUT my permission, also illegal, and has been cancelled...

  As far as Dianne and Model Placement Center goes in getting people work it is all lies, neither Dianne or anyone at MPC has a talent license. So according to the state of Fl that is illegal for mpc to do. Basically Dianne and MPC are a photo mill. I also checked out her photographers although they are nice they are not professional fashion photographers. I sent my daughters pictures and comp cards to several Real agenciec in NY they said the cards and picts basically suck. So we had them redone in Ny thru Elite who by the way has signed my daughter and has been working her.  No help from Dianne,. Dianne wanted 4,000.00 from me to send my daughter to NY I said no, we did this on our own and my daughter was signed.
   Please be warned and be aware that Dianne, Chloe and the crew at MPC is out to take your money and lie. Chloe said she was a fashion photographer so I checked her out and she dosent even have a high school diploma, and is 19 just starting out in the industry and my own opinion is that Chloe is still very immature and needs to grow up , when Chloe was speaking to us in their green room all she did is talk bad about someone who used to be the director for Dianne, I never met this man but after chloe was done speaking bad about him I decided then that I had better check this company out.

   Dianne also wanted me to write a good review on her and her company on yellow pages, and she told me she would tell me what to write.  SO I would NEVER recommend Dianne or MPC for anything. If you want to lose all your hard earned money and have you or your child's heart broken go see her and MPC. They truly are scamming people and straight up lying to your face.     

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/25/2012 10:56 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/model-placement-center/safety-harbor-florida-34695/model-placement-center-boom-modeling-scamers-safety-harbor-florida-828372. 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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#1 Author of original report


AUTHOR: Ohhh - (USA)

Big dreams, high prices some clients say Boom Talent & Modeling Agency gave them high hopes but left them with stiff bills and disappointment.


St. Petersburg Times, published
November 19, 2000

CARROLLWOOD -- With his cute dimples, square jaw and big green eyes, 5-year-old John Ruisi turned so many
heads that his proud mother dropped off his snapshot at Boom Talent &
Modeling Agency.

[Times photo: Mike Pease]

Di Paulson, president of Boom Talent & Modeling Agency, measures prospective model Kim Ziel.

The agency told Diane Ruisi her son was gorgeous and it could find him lots of work. Before long, the 35-year-old
Carrollwood woman said employees at Boom Talent made her believe she, too, could be a model.

They raved about her tall, slender build and high cheekbones. "By the time they were finished talking I saw lights and stars," Ruisi said. "They convinced me that I had the look clients are looking for."

She paid about $800 to get the process started. Soon after, her problems with Boom began as well. In less than a
month, the single mother of three had canceled her photo session and sent a lawyer after her money. Before it was over, she and Di Paulson, owner of Boom Talent and Hollywood Hotshots, had an angry confrontation over who owned the photographs.

In an industry that feeds on egos and high expectations, disputes are not surprising. Some of Boom Talent's
customers are saying they were pressured into paying large sums of money to a neighboring photo studio, that the agencies failed to deliver the results they expected and that they were left confused about who had the rights to the

Critics also say Paulson is circumventing a state law that forbids modeling agencies from charging upfront
fees. Modeling agencies are not supposed to charge models for anything, including photos, seminars or consultation. An agent's income is supposed to come solely from commissions it gets by finding work for its models.

Paulson furnishes photos, consulting and seminars through Hollywood Hotshots, which shares office space with Boom
Talent in the Cascades of Carrollwood shopping center.  "There's no law that says I can't own an agency and a photography business," Paulson said. "I happen to be a very talented person. Other agents want to bury me. I am a
threat because I am so successful."

Although records show that Paulson has settled some complaints, she and her attorney, Steven Diaco, say that no
judgments have been entered against her.

Paulson said she does not fill her models with false hopes. Rather, she said, she tries to be realistic.

"No one wants to be told they can't be a model," Paulson said. "And I can't take everyone who walks in here just because I don't want to hurt their feelings. We're very selective about who we work with. Agencies can lose clients if they send out unprofessional models who don't know what they are doing."

Paulson, 48, says she was a New York model and later a makeup artist before she opened Boom Talent and Hollywood
Hotshots in 1994. The two businesses are housed at Fletcher Avenue and N Dale Mabry Highway, about a mile from her Carrollwood Village home. Here, in a stylish office with burnished metal furnishings, Paulson says she turns
everyday people into the faces we see in commercials, catalogs and other product ads.

The first step, a photo session at Hollywood Hotshots, gives models experience in front of the camera. For about
$500, a photographer shoots five rolls of the aspiring model. With luck, there are enough good photos to create a composite card that can be mailed to clients. Sometimes Paulson suggests more photo shoots, costing more money, and
that's where disputes can begin.

"People think they can come in here and do one test shot, get a comp card and become a supermodel,"
Paulson said. "Tommy Hilfiger is not going to hire you because you've done one test shot.

"They want to see a history. They want to know your personality. Can you move behind the camera? Are you
professional enough to be on time? Those are the kinds of things we stress. That's why Boom models outshine any other agencies."

But what Paulson considers thorough looks more like high-pressure sales tactics to some former customers.

In 1998 Shannon Gobel of Dade City filed a complaint against Boom Talent with Hillsborough County Consumer
Protection.  Gobel, thinking her 11-month-old son, Dylan, would make a cute model, paid $850 for photos and comp cards at Hollywood Hotshots. She paid $100 each for two modeling seminars at Hollywood Hotshots and $50 for an informational book -- inspired, she said, by Paulson's confidence in her son's future.

"She said with his red hair and blue eyes she could get me booking after booking all day," Gobel said. But after two or three months, her child "never got a single job through Boom."
After leaving Boom, Gobel said other agents were surprised she had bought expensive comp cards for such a young
model. "After speaking to other agencies, I found that you don't do comp cards on kids younger than 6 years old because they would have to be updated every six to eight months," she said.
Vivian Blickensderfer of Carrollwood Village said she took her 16-year-old daughter, Danielle, to discuss a modeling
career at Boom Talent. The whole family went. Before they left, Blickensderfer said Paulson tried to sign her 14-year-old son, who has braces and crooked teeth; their 12-year-old daughter and even the family dog. "Because my
husband is a lawyer, she figured we had lots of money," Mrs. Blickensderfer said.

She paid about $500, thinking it would cover the photo shoot and comp cards. Instead, she got negatives and says
Paulson told her Danielle needed more pictures, for another $300 to $500, to make a nice comp card.

"I told her I don't have that type of money," Blickensderfer said. "If I knew it would cost more than the initial $500 I wouldn't have started."

Boom Talent did find work for teen model Whitney Williams, including a job with the Panama Jack catalog, according
to her mother, Barbara Williams. But she said they had more success with a competing agency owned by a former Boom Talent employee.

"Our issue is not really the money we spent, but the way they dropped the ball on her," Barbara
Williams said. "They didn't market her, but promised her the moon."

Some people say they have complained to the state Department of Business and Professional Regulations, which
regulates modeling agencies. Agency officials would not acknowledge any complaints against Boom Talent; DBPR spokesman Judd Bagley said such complaints would not become public unless the business were found guilty of an offense or there were probable cause for an investigation.

Companies that harm consumers or violate state statutes could be warned in letters or be issued citations from
the DBPR, Bagley said. Depending on the severity of the injury and the company's track record, fines could go up to $5,000 per infraction. 

The most severe action, however, is suspension or revocation of a company owner's license.  In some cases, customers have gone to court against Boom Talent.

In a county suit filed in 1998, Miriam Miller of Lakeland said she met with Cheryl Neglio at Boom Talent to discuss a
modeling career for her two children.

Neglio told Miller her children had "the perfect look that the industry was looking for," according to a letter filed with the suit. Miller alleges that Neglio sent her to Hollywood Hotshots even though she had pictures from another professional agency. 

"Ms. Neglio was talking very fast," Miller wrote, complimenting the children the whole time. Miller paid Neglio $909.50, believing it would cover the photo shoot and comp cards. The day of the shoot, Miller said there were 14 other people scheduled to take pictures.

As the makeup artists hurriedly applied makeup to her daughters, Miller said she asked if a curling iron burn
on her daughter's neck would force them to postpone the shoot. "It's so little it will not even show up," the makeup artists said, according to Miller.

Miller said that when she went to pick up her pictures and comp cards, she received only a handful of negatives.
They said the comp cards would cost another $218.65. And the curling iron burn was noticeable in the photos.
Unable to get a refund, she filed a lawsuit. Eventually it was settled. Neglio later left Boom Talent and now owns
Extreme Talent Inc. with her husband, Paul Neglio, a former Boom Talent model.

In a brief conversation with the St. Petersburg Times, she said problems at Boom Talent made it difficult for her to place models with corporate clients. "They'd say they don't want to work with me because they don't want to deal with Boom," she said.

Paulson has not made a favorable impression on Carolanne Morningstar, president of the Orlando-based Florida
Bluesheet, a trade organization that serves the state's modeling and talenting industry.

Mrs. Morningstar said she advises young models against going to Boom Talent and disapproves of Paulson's ownership of both a talent agency and a photo studio. "I would not go to Boom myself," she said. "I don't like their business ethics." 

In Tampa's close-knit modeling and talent community, it's not unusual for people to jump from one agency to
another, harboring grudges.

In this climate, Paulson said she has booked many models for television commercials, catalogs, magazines and
cereal boxes. She said she has even found jobs for people's animals. But her success rate is hard to

She named Home Shopping Network as one local business where she has regularly booked models. Amy Panson,
spokeswoman for Home Shopping, said that the network used to have a relationship with Boom but that the relationship has been severed. She declined to elaborate.

Paulson provided several testimonial letters from customers at the newspaper's request. None had phone numbers and
some had only partial names. One letter was from a grandmother, who, when interviewed, could not name any jobs her granddaughter had obtained. Several women left phone messages with the Times to say they were very happy with
Paulson's agency. But none left phone numbers and only one left her full name.

Paulson said that if most of her models are hard to find, it is because they value their privacy.

She did provide a reference letter from Sharon Mayhew, mother of former Guiding Light actor and now PYT pop star
Lauren Mayhew. And Paulson invited the Times to take photographs at her agency on a day when Mayhew was to be there.

But Nina Bueti, Lauren Mayhew's New York agent, said Mayhew has never done any work for Boom Talent and that
Hollywood Hotshots photographed Mayhew free of charge.

Indeed, Bueti said Paulson urged Mayhew to attend the newspaper's photo session. "I'm not very pleased with
this," Bueti said. "If this woman wants this thing as a public relations stunt for her company, Lauren can't be used like that. I don't like it."

Brian Hyder, a 38-year-old model and photographer for Hollywood Hotshots, said that after signing with Boom Talent,
he was placed with a Miami Beach agency that booked him for $50,000 worth of work last year. "God gave me the face that America says sells products," Hyder said.

Diaco, Paulson's attorney, said he could vouch for Paulson, both as a client and business associate. Diaco, who
also is a boxing promoter, represents Paulson for free. In exchange, Boom Talent provides models to walk around the boxing rings.

"I believe in who she is as a person," Diaco said of Paulson. "I know how difficult it is to start a business from scratch and I know how competitive this industry is. I'm a big fan of Di as a person."

Diaco agreed that much of the criticism against Paulson comes from jealous competitors. He and Paulson declined to discuss most of the individual disputes.

He did acknowledge there have been problems with a release form that models are asked to sign when they have their
pictures taken. The document says that although the pictures belong to the customer, Boom Talent and Hollywood Hotshots retain the rights to use them for commercial purposes.

It was this document that led to an argument on Sept. 27 that resulted in a Hillsborough sheriff's complaint in
which Diane Ruisi accused Paulson of pushing her. Paulson was not charged with a crime, and she denied pushing Ruisi. "She was the one being hysterical and causing a scene," Paulson said.

Diaco said he plans to reword the contract to avoid future problems. Diaco said he also wants to address any
other problems former Hollywood Hotshots customers or Boom Talent models might have with Paulson and he invites people to call him at the law firm Adams, Blackwell & Diaco.

"Anybody that has a problem or is disgruntled, I welcome them to call my office so I can address this and facilitate closure," Diaco said. "I strongly recommend her. I enjoy working with her and am thrilled with her results."
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