Thursday, 28 October 2010

Model auditions - we get email

In the interests of openness and fairness, here is the full text of a letter sent to us and to The Voice in response to our article last week on the modeling "auditions" held at Riverwalk recently. The only adjustments I've made are to remove the name of the writer and her company and other specific people's names. I'll post my response afterwards.
Richard Harriman
Consumer’s Voice

27 October 2010

Attention: Richard Harriman

It is with great disappointment that I read your article in The Voice, Friday 22 October 2010, and your reference to “IMTA SCAM” and [Company name]. It is more surprising that you have made these statements and voice these opinions without any proper investigation or any attempt by yourself to make contact with the organisers, or the sender of the SMS your writer referred to. If you bothered to do so you would have been able to report on the true facts and not based on your uninformed opinion.

Rightfully, I quote your from your article, “I should point out that, for very obvious reasons, I have no experience in either the fashion or modelling industry” and no more of a truth was written, by yourself, than these words.

I would invite you at any time to contact me and verify the facts, which I would assume any good reporter would naturally do before publishing any article, but again in your own words “you don’t have to be an expert to smell a bad smell” when articles are published without any research or investigations into the facts.

I wish to present you with the facts for your convenience and for you to respond appropriately to your reader’s letter:

1. [Company name] South Africa assisted by [Company name] Botswana did a “scouting for talent” audition at Game City. The same “scouting for talent” was held in 2009 at the same venue, which can be verified by [name removed] at the Management offices at Game City.
2. These auditions are free to all entrants.
3. From this audition a number of possible talents are selected. They are then contacted with an option for them to carry one with the process if they wish to do so. They are under no obligation to do so.
4. To carry on with the process they are requested to pay an entry free of P250.00 which will cover the cost for:
a. A modelling lesson.
b. A T-shirt
c. Certification of proof of participation
d. Participation in the final round of selection in Botswana, which takes place at the Fashion Lounge Botswana, planned for January 2011. (Which again you are welcome to contact for verification of such events)
5. From this event, 10 models are selected to go to South Africa participating in the final competition during May 2011.
6. At this event a grand prize being an ALL EXPENSES paid trip to New York in July 2011

I am sure you would agree that paying an entry fee for the above cannot be compared to, and I quote “demand money up front for no obvious return”, as these do not come at no expense to the organisers.

Should you have taken the time to verify your facts, you could have responded appropriately to your reader and given them the following information:

1. Approximately 40 possible talents were identified during the 2009 “scouting for talent” event at Game City.
2. Final round of the Botswana competition was held and 10 models were selected to participate in the South African leg of the competition.
3. [Company name] had 4 models representing our agency in New York in 2010. References again are available for your perusal.

This is by no means a “recruitment scam” as reported by you. No promise of so called “employment or riches” are made as we only create opportunities for prospecting models. I am sure by having the facts, you would agree that if you believe you have what it takes to make it to New York, the participating entry fee of P250.00 is a drop in the ocean to the real cost of such an opportunity.

We would not have a business if there were no charges involved. Each and every potential model has a chance of winning. The eventual outcome of the models that will stand the chance of going overseas does NOT rest on my shoulders, but on the judges in the final competition. So I therefore re-iterate, the P250 for the models selected are for expenses involved.

You are more than welcome to contact me, to verify any of the above information that I have presented to you in this letter. Your article was uncalled for considering that you made no attempt to justify the unsubstantiated statements that you made.

I would appreciate a retraction of your derogatory comments.

I take extreme pride in my work and my Company and I am angry and frustrated that my time must be wasted justifying my honesty and integrity to someone that printed an article based on personal assumptions


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