Modeling agencies in the UK are big trouble for gauging their models.
Police officers organized a raid at modeling agencies representing some of the world’s biggest models including Kate Moss and Yasmin Le Bon over claims that the modeling agencies are working together as a secret cartel to drive up modeling fees, according to reports.
Officials raided the offices of Storm Model Management, Premier Model Management and Models 1, seizing computer hard drives and files of printed documents.
Bosses at the modeling agencies have been questioned by investigators at the Competition and Markets authority in the UK. Reports suggest that the modeling agencies have been working together to fix the prices they charge to big brands and retailers for models.
The companies under investigation including Britain’s best known agencies and the investigation has affected everyone in the modeling agency calling it as a “scandal”.
Storm Model Management launched the careers of Kate Moss and Cara Delevingne and Models 1 represents Erin O’ Connor and Yasmin Le Bon. Premier claims credit for finding and building some of the world’s biggest models including Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer and Cindy Crawford.
The talent agencies can earn thousands of dollars in fees for a single photo shoot with a top model. Canadian Linda Evangelista, who was once signed with Premier, reportedly claimed that she wouldn’t get out of bed for less than $10,000 a gig.
‘It’s no longer about high-end glossy magazine shoots and the retailers believe they should be paying less. The agencies insist that they charge high prices because they’re selling quality.
‘It’s a market and they set their own prices and, while there may be industry standards, the allegation is that the agencies are meeting as a cartel to agree prices.
‘They bitterly resent the retailers trying to force down their prices and are convinced one or more big retailers lodged a complaint with the CMA.’
The investigation began at the end of March, with raids on the agencies’ London offices and has continued in the past few months with ‘information gathering, including issuance of formal or informal information requests and parties’ responses’, according to the CMA website
The investigation will determine if the modeling agencies violated the Competition Act 1988 or Article 101 of theFunctioning of the European Union. If the modeling agencies are found guilty, they could face fines up to ten percent of their total earnings.
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