Such Nice Little Earners; Children with the Aah Factor Strike It Rich in Advertising
Coleman, Alison, The Mail on Sunday (London, England)
Byline: ALISON COLEMAN
TO have a child model in the family might seem like good fortune, but to have three can be extremely profitable. And for the Clarston family, modelling and earning money from it is a way of life.
Most of the modelling work for Mia-Jay, 10, Marni-Lee, 8, and three-yearold Milla-Star is for catalogues and brochures.
And demand can be high. 'Kids have the aahh factor,' explains Paul Grubb, creative director of advertising agency Duckworth, Finn, Grubb & Waters.
'Like kittens and puppies, little children are very cute and people respond to them in a positive way, so they are a valuable tool for advertisers.' And their appeal seems to rise above the ups and downs of the advertising industry as a whole.
The rest of the business has been in the doldrums for the past 12 months, but the demand for child models just keeps on growing.
Payment for photographic advertising work - for example, home shopping catalogues and supermarket magazines - is about pound sterling25 an hour, or pound sterling150 a day.
But break into television advertising and this could be as much as pound sterling300 a day or pound sterling3,000 per commercial.
There are costs involved in registering with an agency. Initially, a snapshot of the child is submitted. If accepted, there is usually an initial fee of about pound sterling80 to pound sterling90 to cover studio assessment and photographic work.
There may also be administrative charges for licensing and renewals, but they are usually deducted from the payment a child receives for assignments.
Agencies take a commission of about 20 per cent, though this can vary according to the type of work.
Payments are made directly to the child, so they must open their own savings account.
PHOTOGRAPHIC work pays less than television but there is more of it around.
For two hours' work on a catalogue shoot, a young model will get between pound sterling50 and pound sterling60, depending on age.
But the biggest-paying jobs are TV commercials, especially the long-running advertising campaigns such as the Standard Life insurance series that has followed the fortunes of James, Lucy and their parents for years.
Repeat fees for TV commercials are calculated as a multiple of the basic fee up to 400 or 500 per cent, which covers the use of the commercial for a year. …