• Report: #1069099
Complaint Review:

Riviera Models, Kingston, Ontario

  • Submitted: Mon, July 22, 2013
  • Updated: Mon, July 22, 2013

  • Reported By: David J — Kingston Ontario
Riviera Models, Kingston, Ontario
331 King St E, Kingston, ON K7L 3B5 Kingston, Ontario Canada

Riviera Models, Kingston, Ontario Riviera AgencyRiviera Fashion MediaMega ModelsKing's Town Models Modeling Agency that's effectively a scam Kingston Ontario

*Consumer Comment: Rejected Girl Gone Mad!

*Consumer Comment: Not cool to tell lies

*Consumer Comment: Concerned Dad

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Riviera Models

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This agency takes on people (a number of my friends), asks them to pay for "training" (something modeling agencies are not allowed to do in this province) then doesn't get them work for years and then blames the models for not working hard enough.

Asks them to pay over $1000 for training and then over $6000 for a portfolio then provides them with no work. Even makes them do scouting for the agency for free and get irritated when you start asking too many questions. Changes its name over the years but don't go with them. Not sure if they're scamming on purpose or just awful at what they do.

Go by:

  • Mega Models
  • Riviera Agency
  • Riviera Fashion Media
  • Riviera Media


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/22/2013 12:33 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/riviera-models-kingston-ontario/kingston-ontario/riviera-models-kingston-ontario-riviera-agencyriviera-fashion-mediamega-modelskings-to-1069099. 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 Consumer Comment

Rejected Girl Gone Mad!

AUTHOR: Model Editor - ()

I'm the Model editor who was responsible for casting the right characters for the various TV commercials and Print Ads Riviera Fashions Media Agency was hired to do. 

It's never a pleasant thing to turn down talent but that comes with job. More than anything I had the Advertizer's interest, budget and market in mind with each decision. 

The complaint is really about a girl scorned. She makes too many wild and erroneous claims. The company was an Advertising Agency specializing in Fashion, we hired actors for commercials and models for print and billboard ads. I don't know what she's referring that the Ad agency "charged".

There's quite the difference between charging for and making workshops available to those being casted in the Ads. Those that lacked acting experience were directed to ACTRA Canada to fulfill the requirement that would allow them to participate in union commercials. Those who were perfect for the print campaign but lacked experience were directed to Modeling schools in Ottawa, and for those who couldn't make the drive, instructors from Montreal were brought in and they charged the going rate. Models were very satisfied that the Agency made its offices available to them after hours for their workshops. The Agency didn't make the money, the instructors who put in the time and effort did! The other person is right, I think in total, 11 Models opted for this.

The girl complaining failed to mention that those who attended the workshops were approved and cast into the ads, meaning they were paid and any expense related to being qualified would be tax deductible. Models earned money with the Agency, not lost it as she is suggesting. 

She's also misguided about scouting, further proof that she wasn't scouted. All scouting was done by the Art Directors and no one else! We hand-picked people wa thought would be perfect for casting. Scouting is part of our job and we certainly don't engage anyone in conversation let alone complain that we don't get paid! 

Late last year Riviera closed it's doors in Canada to pursue a new branding contract with a major phamaceutical company in Belgium. Their former location is Kingston's most desirable. A new business from Montreal, a reknowned modeling agency has since moved into the same location. It's ludicrous to suggest they're the same company. The Modeling Agency is just that, and probably much to the dismay of the person complaining, their standards are even higher. 

I know the girl that complained, Johanna, she first claimed to me she was "scouted" when in fact the actuall person scouted discarded the scouted. Johanna subsequently picked up the card in the hopes of passing herself off as a Model for a blue Jean ad we were working on. I recall the creative director, and the other art directors looking at her in disbelief when she showed up to the Agency. After a few questions about how she came into possession of a scouted cards, and when she couldn't describe the person that scouted her, it was evident to me she wasn't truthful. I asked her to leave. 

My understanding is that she's now attempting to perpetrate the same scam on the new modeling agency. Lucky for Mega, they hired the same receptionist and she knows all the previous applicants. 

Regardless, this is a classic example of how one scorned person can twist the truth and try to malign the reputation of a company that's had no dealings with her. It's very sad and pathetic that she's obsessed with a career she can never qualify for. 

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#2 Consumer Comment

Not cool to tell lies

AUTHOR: Iknowjohannawilson - ()

Haha, I know who complained, it's Johanna Wilson. She was turned down by Agencies in Toronto and thought she could con a Kingston Agency. I respect Riviera more for rejecting her.

I remember her on campus bitching about some guy who told her she wasn't tall enough and wasn't model material. He's prolly right! I read magazines, she looks nothing like those models! its ok to be ordinary but not cool to throw yourself at an agency if they don't want you and way not cool dissing them for being honest.

So chill and grow up Johanna! 

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#3 Consumer Comment

Concerned Dad

AUTHOR: Dad - ()

My daughter was scouted at Market Sqaure 2 years ago by a very pleasant woman. After discussing it with my wife, we brought her in for an interview. When we showed up we witnessed them turning down 3 girls and one boy in the reception area. This intimidated us but we hung in there.

At the interview all our fears were dispelled. Claire was very straight forward and refused to say anything about my daughter's potential, which made sense, I mean how can anyone discuss potential without seeing her in action! We were told she was scouted for an ad they were shooting for a montreal designer.

We read in the reception area that they prefer models they are casting for jobs to be experienced and that experience can be obtained at any modeling school and also noticed a posting about classes held at the agency for university students with special circumstances. I asked about their classes because they were conveniently located close to our home.

We were shocked to find out that because she fell within their guidelines of what a model was supposed to be 14 to 17 5'10 to six feet and photogenic, my daughter was 14 and 5'11', they would assume all costs! She has since appeared in many ads and shows and made a lot of money which we set aside for her college education.

The Riviera Ad Agency has been professional throughout its dealings with us and were nice enough to introduce us to the new agency taking over their old location. So my daughter now has a wonderful agent and is expected to attend New York Fashion Week early this September!

My advice to anyone wanting to model, make sure you meet the physical requirements, be ready for a blunt assessment and rejection but you never know unless you try and all this talk about a rip off is sour grapes, jeez not all my daughters friends are her height and can do what she can do! 

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#4 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Riviera Models

AUTHOR: Francine - ()

I've had the pleasure of working with Riviera Fashion Media Agency as an Art Director in charge of creating Fashion Advertizing campaigns. I'm not sure what the complainant is referring to. Riviera Fashion Media Agency was an Advertising Agency, not a Modelling or Talent Agency. On December 2012 the Agency had shifted its creative operations to Belgium and because of my knowledge and familiarity with Models, I have joined the new tenants MEGA, a Modelling Agency. The new Agency has no connection to Riviera Fashion Media Agency, anymore than a new tenant would have to the previous tenant. 

In casting for Print campaigns, the Agency made use of professional Models from Agencies in Ottawa. On occassion, workshops were held in Kingston as a courtesy to Queens University students without vehicles who were not able to attend modelling classes in Ottawa. The workshops were not $ 1000. They were closer to double that amount in keeping with rates charged in Toronto - to pay the instructors and to cover the cost of five fashion shoots included in the workshops. We were told by all involved that the workshops held at the Agency after hours were worth every penny, especially the value added feature of including five Fashion Shoots.

This courtesy was extended to about 11 people in total over a period of 3 years, hardly a money making proposition for any business. The Agency encouraged those who wanted to be cast in print assignments to have a background in modelling to justify charging Clients and paying Models the rates they required; it's not ethical to make Clients pay for amateurs who don't know what to do in front of the camera.

The Agency had a Model and a Talent Division supervised by a Model and Talent editor to streamline the right people for the right assignment; we ddn't send actors to Clients wanting Print models. 

As to the claim that photographs cost, of course they do! The Agency didn't set the rates in Ontario and it's unfair to blame anyone for Models requiring photographs to show Clients. The Agency encouraged all Models to retain photographers of their choice and this was clearly and conspicuously posted in their reception area 

Scouting comes with the territory. On occassion models want to stage local Fashion Shows, the Agency provides contacts and logistics but does not get involved. It would back local models' initiative to scout, produce and stage shows providing all proceeds go to a local Charity or cause. 

The Agency had turned away over 95% of all applicants wanting to be cast in our Print campaigns. I suspect the complaint is more about a bruised ego and less about merit. 


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