Understanding The Conflicts Of Interest In Mother Agencies

When a modeling agency serves as your mother agency, it simply means that you’ve signed an exclusive and a national (or global) contract with them for a specific modeling niche. In such cases, when you get booked out of your city (for instance, if you live and operate in Sydney and you get booked for the Milan fashion week), the mother agency will handle all the bookings and sometimes payments on your behalf. While this may appear ideal, there can be a few shortcomings.

To begin with, your mother or main agency will make less commission when you are booked through an international agency and general financial impetus at the end of it all may make such bookings less attractive to them. Additionally, it will take you off the market that they serve while you are working elsewhere. Still, there are many modeling agencies, especially in smaller markets, that make the bulk of their money by scouting for contracts in bigger market, and such deals are welcome.

Put simply, you cannot ignore that there are conflicts of interest for both the international agency and your main agency when it comes to international bookings. This is one of the main reasons why many models sign regional contracts with separate agencies in various markets.

Nonetheless, there are benefits that you stand to gain when you are also represented by your mother or main agency in any regional or international contract.

• When you are just launching your modeling career, they may help develop you more

• Through their experience and vast networks, they may get you work outside your home market

• In case of anything bad in the course of the contract, the agency can come to your rescue.

Besides conflicts of interest, some of the demerits of involving your mother agency in your international contracts include:

• They may opt not to book you for high value contracts in another market because you’ll become less available in your home market

• You can get better attention and even more bookings if you are booked by separate agencies instead of a primary agency

• There are certain agencies that do not work with international agencies, which simply implies that there are bookings that will not be availed to you

• Being signed by a Mother or main agency is like having all your eggs in a single basket.


Conflict of interest can negatively impact the relationship that you can have with your mother agency. Accordingly, before you sign your first runway modelling Australia contract, you need to weigh your options to avoid signing away a lot of your rights than necessary.

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