Another dodgy agent on the Facebook prowl

Further to yesterday’s account of the bogus agent who entraps young artists and stings them for money, here’s a more old-fashioned scam. It’s an obscure agency in the boondocks that chases down young musicians on facebook and promises them a smarter way to fame.

Forget the old method of building relationships between artists, presenters and audiences. It’s all about tele-marketing now, say these guys. Pay us $300+ a month and we’ll hit the phone and get you dates. Artists who make a tentative inquiry are then hassled for cash up front.

Here’s the deal:

Our Premium Management is a direct-marketing service that provides direct telemarketing to the Concert Music Industry. What this means is that you would be assigned to a marketer who would then call/contact presenters and performing arts organizations on your behalf, introducing you, presenting your press kit and so forth.
At the end of each month you will have a report sent via email listing which presenters and performing arts organizations you have been presented to. We will design a press kit and include you on the (company) website plus add you to our weekly rotation in our email newsletter. (Additional advertising may be available.)As you know all too well, it takes lots of time to organize a concert season, to promote one self. By joining (our company), you will join a great management company which will work with you,  for you, for your career. The cost of this premium service depends on the amount of marketing hours you would like. We have 3 different plans:$300/month= 8 hours of direct marketing
$400/month= 12 hours of direct marketing
$500/month= 16 hours of direct marketing 

All of the above are per month and on a yearly contract basis. 
For artists whose commissions exceed the yearly retainer we charge 20% of the gross engagement fee, so the artist pays either the retainer fee, either the commission.

Please understand that (our company) is unable to make any guarantees concerning engagements. (Our company) has been a leader in concert management for over 25 years and we believe direct marketing is very effective in helping concert soloists and conductors broaden their careers.

 

What can I tell you? Do not – repeat not – reply to anyone on facebook who offers to become your agent.

I have blocked both of these scammers from my site. If I hear that they continue trawling innocent talent on facebook, I will name them. What they are doing is not illegal, but it can damage young careers.

 

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  • Norman, can I just back you up on what you say here, speaking both as a former agent and as an MD of the London Mozart Players.

    Decent agents never take money up front from their clients – they might ask them to pay for photos, CDs or other promotional material, but they would never ask a client to pay money up front like that just to represent them.

    As an orchestra MD, I can tell you that I work very closely with agents to help us find talented musicians but those are relationships of trust that are built up over many months and years. There is no way that I would ever have a relationship with a telemarketer – in fact I would just put the phone down on someone who tried to sell me a musician in this way. In my view this is a scam, pure and simple.

    Please take Norman’s advice and put the money into producing your own promotional material, especially a CD. I get very frustrated with the number of young artists who send me CVs but with nothing to actually hear. You can tell very little from a photo and a CV, and a lot from a CD, or preferably, a DVD/video.

  • I am horrified to hear of this latest online scam which will con a great many starry-eyed want-to-be performers.

  • Luciano says:

    I have to take issue with Mr Funnell’s comment that ‘decent’ agents don’t take money up front from their artists. Harrison Parrott have an annual fee that artists have to pay that is a couple of thousand pounds. Decent? Yes or no?

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