Report: #663495

Complaint Review: Urban Talent Management

  • Submitted: Thu, November 18, 2010
  • Updated: Mon, July 30, 2012
  • Reported By: natapet — North Salt Lake Utah United States of America
  • Urban Talent Management
    718 North 300 West
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    United States of America

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

   Urban Talent Management is a company that boasts about being a legitimate modeling agency, which they are far far from. They will solicit anywhere they can to get girls to come into their office for an "audition." Tina Bullen will tell them that they are "perfect," and in an effort to appear credible, Tina, Camilla Larsen or Holly Wren will tell "models" that they have to take a digital photo, which they will then pass around to their clients to make sure that they're "marketable;" because after all that's the only way they make a profit --this is a bold faced lie that will be repeated over and over to the girls that meet with them. By the second or third interview, they will have the "potential model" meet with owner Bret Udy who will say that their clients are very interested. He will proceed to explain that he only makes money off the 15% of work that you book . They will pull up their BBB rating, which is an A+ and assure you that they are one of the best agencies out there.  This is disingenuous; the only reason they have such a high rating is because they made an effort to resolve disputes, which ended up in their favor due to the fine print in their deceptive contracts. Even the BBB acknowlegdes that the credibility of a company is not guaranteed based on their rating (go into "explanation of ratings").

  Once they have given you an earful of how legitimate they are, they will ask you for money, usually upwards of $1,500. They will tell you that this money goes to independent contractors (Style Inc.) who will train you and take your photos for a new portfolio. This is all a lie.  Style Inc and Urban are the same company with the same employees. When they say they don't make a dime off the fees that are assessed, nothing could be further from the truth. They appear to be credible because they represent a handful of girls who get a lot of work, and those girls don't have to pay for any classes or training. If you log onto facebook and look for the group "Models of Utah" you will see a post by Haley Nord that verifies my claim. This is how they trick girls into believing they are a real modeling agency, not a school when in fact, they would not charge anyone a dime if they were real agency because they would be profiting from the jobs they get their models, not from classes and portfolios.

   When I met with them, I told them I didn't want to sign anything until I read their contracts at home. I said I could come back in and speak with them the next day about any questions and whether I was still interested. Camilla Larsen, one of their "representatives," said she would not be in the office until much later the following day. She said that instead of messing up my schedule, I could just sign and then let her know the next day after I read the contracts if it was plausible that I could come up with $2000. If not, she said I could contact her and the document would be voided. I regrettably believed Camilla. I was scammed into signing something before I had a chance to actually read it or even skim it, and I naively believed that it would not go into effect until I contacted them the next day. I wrote the very next day telling them I was not interested and because of personal extenuating circumstances I could neither attend, nor afford their classes. They have now threatened me with collections and claim that I am lying, that I never had the option to tell them "no" after I had signed. I do not want this to happen to anyone else. DO NOT SIGN any contracts asking for money! If you read the contract you will see that all they really want is the $2000. The fine print of the contract says they are not obligated to provide you with any service but you must pay them no matter what! They are not a legitimate agency! If you look up the address for Urban Talent on google maps, Style Inc pops up. They claim over and over they do not profit from these fees, and that it is a separate company named Style Inc that is getting the money; it's ALL LIES. This "so called agency" is a wolf in sheeps clothing - Beware.

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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/18/2010 10:07 AM and is a permanent record located here: 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Consumer Comment

How does the photographer get paid?

AUTHOR: Osyeanna - (USA)

 My question for the person who claims no legit company would charge you for headshots and classes. If that was the case then how do photographer make money ? Or are the photographer your agent also? What about the guy who teaches the workshop how would he get paid for teaching you his secrets and educating you about the business himself or is he your agent ? The answer is no the photographer is separate they are not going to find you jobs they are going to take your photo. Lance is certainly not going to be your agent ,he is there to give you education like a professor would to his class. URBAN TALENT MANAGEMENT is your agent . They are constantly looking for work for you they are submitting you for jobs that is how they get paid when you actually get hired for a job. I have only been signed with urban for 3 weeks and have already taken the same workshop . The knowledge I learned inside of the workshop is so valuable you can't put a price to it . I thought that it was gonna be easy to be a actor just be dramatic and do it but there is so much more to it and it is hard work. I learned it threw the workshop. Although I have only been with urban for 3 weeks I have got my headshots , taken the workshop, participate in a BBQ , I am scheduled to go and help the feed the homeless with urban later this month as part of a event that they do, and I have already even been on a audition that they set me up on. . That's seems like a whole lot of participation in something your claiming is a scam. If you want to do something and be someone in your life you have to work for it NOTHING IN LIFE IS FREE. I am only 15 yrs old and I know this . So if you are expecting to not pay anything then yeah you can say it's a scam and blame them for your own laziness but in all reality the people who matter and who want it will understand.

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#2 Consumer Comment

What do you recommend?

AUTHOR: Vikki - (USA)

 I have had a similar experience with Urban Talent the difference being I figured out it was a scam before I gave them any of my money. Through some silver linings in this bad experience, I didn't give them my account number or card number. So far as I can tell they haven't tried taking any of my money, but I'm now unsure what to do proceeding forward. I signed the contract, but never took the class. Now however I am unsure how to protect myself and the best way to break the contract. I can't find any articles that are quite like my experience so I am unsure what is the best way to continue, advice and tips is greatly appreciated!

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#3 General Comment

I love urban

AUTHOR: Osyeanna - (USA)

I dont understand how people are claiming this is a rip off.  If you signed up for a class in college and had to pay the tuition, buy the books, and materials would you say that college was just a scam?  This is the same situation.  you are not paying for them to be your agent they get a percentage of your jobs.  That is their payment. Your paying for education and knowledge in the industry threw their workshops.  I personally have signed with Urban Talent Management and I know that Camilla Has been nothing but awesome and professional.  Tina was immediately actively looking for castings for me.  I am looking forward to my new college.

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#4 Consumer Comment

Urban Talent is an agency AND a management group

AUTHOR: kjessica - ()

I am sick of hearing people claim that Urban Talent is a scam. First of all, they explain everything to you in your inital meeting and let you take the contract home to look over it and think about it. So don't sign it if you haven't read it. Urban won't force you to sign anything until you're fully aware of the contract.

But more importantly, Urban is technically a talent management company hence the name Urban Talent Management. They act as your agent of course and do everything they can to get you auditions and castings, but they also have to make sure that you are marketable and, well, ...talented. A manager is focused not only on getting work for their clients but also on trying to elevate their client’s career. So it is perfectly acceptable and, honestly quite shrewd of them to offer opportunities for their talent to learn how to act and model. They won't usually accept models who have no experience unless they sign up for classes because they don't want inexperienced and unprofessional models to go to castings and give Urban a bad name. If they didn't offer classes, they would be so much more selective in who they accept.

The fact of the matter is that if you sign up for the classes, work hard, and go to castings, you will make a lot of money modeling. You'll earn back what you paid quickly. This obviously doesn't happen for eveyone because they get lazy, they don't finish the classes, they lose interest, or they're too busy to go to castings or auditions. The latter is what happened to me. I signed up for the classes, took a few of them, and then had to go back to school and was way too busy to finish the classes or go to castings. I can see why people get frustrated that they're paying so much money and they're not seeing a return on their investment. If I could go back, I would've waited to sign up for classes until after I graduated. But I've booked enough jobs in the past few months that I've earned over twice what i paid Urban initially.

Blaming Urban for ripping you off is like blaming your college for charging you tuition for your degree that you've never used because you didn't get off your couch and go look for a job. If you're not committed to being a model/actor, then don't sign with Urban. Go represent yourself and see how much work you get. 

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#5 REBUTTAL Owner of company

No honey, no.

AUTHOR: karic1233 - ()

 Oh are trying to make yourself feel better about the fact that you were ripped off. Even if you HAVE made money, NO LEGIT agency will charge you for pics or "classes". THAT IS A FACT! I'm in Vegas, not ONE legit agency here charges anything besides a 15 percent fee of the work they get you. And they don't have huge clients. Face facts girl.

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#6 Consumer Comment

Legitimate modeling agencies do NOT charge YOU money.

AUTHOR: CreamOfWeber - ()

They PAY you money. If you believe otherwise you're either an idiot... or have such low self esteem that you NEED to believe they're legit to make you feel good about yourself.

I'm looking at you girl who insulted the OP about what she must look like. 
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#7 Consumer Comment

It's just a matter of time.

AUTHOR: Mr.Truth - (United States of America)

Urban is a legitimate agency in that they do get models work.

I think Utah Consumer Protection would be most concerned with the representations made about how many models Urban represents, how many actually receive paying jobs, versus how many are signed up by Style Inc. for training.

From what I witnessed, Urban probably finds regular, steady work for about 5-10% of the models that have to pay the high fees for training. Guess what, the training is often provided by Tina Bullen, one of the owners of Urban Talent.

If you have been the victim of false representations by Urban Talent or Style Inc., you will get almost immediate satisfaction by filing a complaint with Utah Consumer Protection:



You should leave an honest and accurate review with Google Maps, Yelp, Facebook, Ripoff Report, Pissed Consumer, and any other review sites you can find.

If you are reading this, you might feel like you have no power to get your money back from this company, but if you go through consumer protection, and then file complaints and write reviews, you can see results pretty quickly.

Anyone wanting to see how effective consumer protection is, read this:

If Urban or Style Inc represented that they have more models working than they have, if they mentioned clients that they do not have contracts with, or if they led you to believe that you would get work if you took their training classes, then you should mention these things in your complaints and reviews.

After you have filed your complaints, written your reviews, you should do one more thing.

Email reporters: (((ROR redacted)))

If you complete these steps and have success, please share your story here so others will know how to combat anything they may have experienced as well.

CLICK here to see why Rip-off Report, as a matter of policy, deleted either a phone number, link or e-mail address from this Report.
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#8 Consumer Comment

I am a Model with Urban and They are Very legit!

AUTHOR: LOVELIFE2012 - (United States of America)


1- I invested in the classes and they were very beneficial. Which has paid off in not only in the confidence I now have to go out to auditions etc. But I have also worked a good amount of times, which has resulted into a great side income. I can't help but laugh that above comments have said "If an agency wants you they will pay... HMMM last time I checked... URBAN IS UTAH BASED and they don't have clients such as Vogue to front their costs and do your homework... Big agencies that can do that such as NY agencies will front the costs but you have a set amount of time to make that money back, and if you don't you are left with no representation and a big fat bill... Not to mention... Check out their Website... They have some great Talent... So why would they waste their TIME... ENERGY... AND MONEY on Anyone that would come in with an attitude like that... Last time I checked... Anything you want to become good at and make money in... YOU NEED TO PAY TO LEARN IT!

2- Their Photographer is Amazing... If you want proof... GO LOOK AT THEIR WEBSITE... Then if you want even more proof... GO LOOK AT ANY OTHER AGENCIES WEB IN UTAH... He is more than worth the money if you are wanting to make money. Modeling is all about your look... So obviously THE BETTER THE PHOTOS (PHOTOGRAPHER)... THE BETTER THE OPPORTUNITY! 

3- Urban has been around for 16 years plus... Obviously they are doing something right, because if they are as bad as people are making them out to be (Above statements)... They would without a doubt be out of business 10 plus years ago... It sounds like the only people who are pissed are people who wanted to not hold to their end of the contract. AKA THEY DIDNT WANT TO PAY FOR THE SERVICES THEY SIGNED AND SAID THEY WOULD! 

I have had an amazing experience with Urban. They are all great people and have only the best intentions to have you learn the skill and get you out to make some great extra cash. HINTS WHY THEY ARE THE NUMBER 1 BOOKING AGENCY IN UTAH! 

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#9 General Comment

Urban is legit

AUTHOR: BHowe - (United States of America)

I'm a client of Urban talent.  The company I represent, Icon Health and Fitness, hires Urban models on a regular basis and have done so for several years. Although I cannot speak on the issues of the complaint, I can say that Urban Talent is a legitimate talent agency that does provide a valuable service.  
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#10 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: Administrator - (United States of America)

 The statements made within this report are defamatory and false.  Both Urban Talent and Style Inc. are reputable and honest. If they turn you away, it could be for numerous reasons such as you are not marketable (i/e looks or personality), you in ability to attend the training, or you lack of commitment or payments. This is a profession and just as anything else there is a knowledge base required to perform the tasks at hand. The way you reflect upon the client is what has the ability to bring not only you but the agency continued business, basically a win/win for all. 
By reading your review I would say that you 1.. look as if you feel from the ugly tree and hit all of the branches on the way down 2. Have an ego so large you walk around as if you are a bobble head 3. You are affiliated with a competitive agency and felt as if this made you a bigger person.
I am neither affiliated with this agency nor any other agencies within Salt Lake. 
Both McCarty and Urban are the two honest and reputable agencies within the area, I would recommend both of these agencies for anyone looking to enter the acting/modeling profession.
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