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Agents warn of increase in email scams

The UK’s Entertainment Agents’ Association has issued a checklist for promoters following a sharp increase in the number of bogus emails purporting to come from leading booking agents.

Recent scams have seen fraudsters posing as the representatives of major artists, including Adele (Lucy Dickins at ITB), System of a Down, Justin Timberlake (John Giddings/Live Nation), Beyoncé, Mark Knopfler (WME’s Brent Smith and Andrew Zweck at Sensible Events) and Eminem, emailing concert promoters and asking for deposits in exchange for (often non-existent) live dates.

“We’re seeing a worrying increase in this style of email scam,” says Neil Tomlinson, who joined the association (formerly the Agents’ Association) as president last April. “Before agreeing any show and sending deposits, promoters must be 100% sure that they are dealing with the real booking agent for that artist.”

If unsure of an agent’s identity, the association is urging promoters to adopt the following steps:

1. Check the email address is correct – in particular the email domain – and if in any doubt call the agency to confirm it. Do not use the telephone number on the email
2. Check the artist’s website for any conflicting touring plans
3. Make sure you have full contact details of the agent with which you are working and speak to them on the phone at least once
4. Before sending a deposit, call the agency to confirm the booking and check their account details
5. Check with promoters in other markets to verify the artist is touring in that region at that time
6. If an offer is accepted and seems too good to be true, it probably is

“If an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is”

“Please be very careful if you get mails that don’t quite look right,” says Emma Banks at CAA, who represents System of a Down.

“Follow the common-sense steps that the Agents’ Association have suggested and don’t send any money until you have double checked that the ‘agent’ is indeed who they say they are.”

She adds: “Please get on the phone to the agents you are doing business with – everything on email makes these scams so much easier for people to instigate.”

Members agencies of the Entertainment Agents’ Association include 13 Artists, Asgard, ATC Live, CAA, Coda, ITB, Primary Talent International, UTA, WME and X-ray Touring.

 


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New name, president for UK Agents’ Association

Neil Tomlinson, director of Sheffield-based The Act Store, has been promoted to president of the UK’s Entertainment Agents’ Association.

The appointment comes amid a rebranding for the trade association, founded in 1927 and most recently known as the Agents’ Association, with the word ‘Entertainment’ returning to its name to reflect its representation of “reputable agents from all walks of the entertainment industry”.

Tomlinson (pictured) who was formerly executive vice-president, comments: “This is an exciting time to take on the role of president as we focus on moving the Entertainment Agents’ Association forward to play a more visible role in lobbing government, identifying new entertainment trends and anticipating any potential barriers to trade for the benefit of our members.

“This is an exciting time to take on the role of president as we focus on moving the Entertainment Agents’ Association forward”

“We will be progressing our marketing and social-media strategy and announcing exciting new plans shortly. Our members agree to adhere to a strict code of conduct and we look forward to welcoming new and established agents as members. Benefits include access to legally approved artist contracts, legal advice and networking opportunities including the annual gala ball that was reintroduced this year.”

Also new for the association an affiliate programme, overseen by outgoing president Alan Cutler, which enables suppliers and service providers, such as photographers and sound and lighting companies, to join.

Anyone interested in joining the Entertainment Agents’ Association should email association@agents-uk.com.

 


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