December 29th, 2010

You Thought Condé Nast Was Only Cheap to Photographers?

© Vogue/Photo by Mikael Jansson

Condé Nast CEO Chuck Townsend told staff at the publishing company last week that its magazine business is doing well despite the recession, and ends 2010 with 3,000 more ad pages than its competitors. Townsend announced the success in his year-end memo to staff, according to MediaWeek.

Photographers who shoot for Condé Nast publications–those who don’t have lucrative contracts with the publisher, that is—know that the company hasn’t shared these economic windfalls with its contributors. Their day rates are low, their contracts demand extensive re-use of images and they don’t want to pay extra for additional content created for their iPad editions.  But photographers aren’t the only ones who sacrifice payment in exchange for the exposure they hope to get from having their names in the pages of Vogue, Glamour, Architectural Digest or Conde Nast Traveler. Fashion models help Condé Nast by working for far less than they could make in non-editorial work.

Buried among the documents filed in the lawsuit brought against the modeling agency Next by three of its former models is an earnings statement that shows how little Vogue and Vogue Paris pays fashion models  – and how long they take to pay.

Models Anna Jagodzinska, Anna Cywinska and Karmen Pedaru allege that Next stole earnings from them and, since they left the agency in April, has failed to pay them money they were owed by clients with outstanding bills. As evidence, lawyer filed Jagodzinska’s account statement at Next, dated April 23, 2010.