Ad Kids Inc. (www.adkids.net) in Chicago, Illinois and New York by Susan Henrichs

Refunds

Send a refund demand letter to the president of AdKids: susan@adkids.net.

If she ignores or denies, email this site for more info, or file a complaint with the right government agency:

Illinois New York
Labor Law Enforcement Division
Illinois Department of Labor
(312) 793-2810
Jon Sorensen
Jon.Sorensen@consumer.state.ny.us
Director of Marketing & Public Relations
New York State Consumer Protection Board
5 Empire State Plaza -- Suite 2101
Albany, N.Y.  12223

www.nysconsumer.gov
(518) 473-9472  fax 474-2896
Cell (518) 527-4496
Toll-free in NYS: 1-800-697-1220 (ext. 3-9472)

Or mail/fax your complaint to:

IL DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Fair Labor Standards Division
Compliance Processing Section
160 North LaSalle, Suite C-1300
Chicago, IL 60601-3150
Tel # (312) 793-2804
Fax #: (312) 814-1210

http://www.state.il.us/

NYC Department of Consumer Affairs
Complaints
42 Broadway, 8th floor
New York NY 10004
Complaint: operating without an employment agency license and/or charging illegal upfront fees. Complaint: operating without an employment agency license and/or charging illegal upfront fees.
See also: Child Labor Complaint Form  

Ad Kids, Inc.
4801 W. Peterson-Ste 615
Chicago, IL 60646

Ad Kids, Inc.
27 West 24th Street
New York, NY

EXCLUSIVE
Documentary Evidence Links AdKids, Inc. to Kids.com LLC

REVEALED: Susan Henrichs, AdKids Owner, Former Employee of Kids.com
Accused of Conspiracy and Fraud

AdKids.net Linked to Child Abuser

Consumer Inquiry

February 29, 2004

My daughter received a letter today from "Ad kids" regarding child modeling. In my online investigation to see if it was legitimate, I came across your website. Although you don't list this "Agency" on your website, I have a very strong suspicion that it is the same company as "Kids.com" but with a new (or different) name. Have you heard of "Ad kids?"

The following is the text of the letter my daughter received on "Ad kids" letterhead:

Dear Mr. & Mrs. [...],
 
Do you have a child that you feel may be suitable for modeling in print ads and television commercials?
 
If you do, we may be interested in developing more information on your child. Please call our office at (773) 205-4160 between 9:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. (Mon-Fri), and we will be glad to provide more information.
 
Ad kids is a personal management firm which supplies children for commercial advertising in the Chicagoland area. We are not a school or training organization.
 
Please be advised that this inquiry does not place you or Ad kids under any obligation.
 
Sincerely,
 
D.Anderson

The top of the letterhead says "Ad kids" and "www.adkids.net." The bottom of the letterhead says, "Our staff has over 75 years experience in the Children's Modeling Industry," and beneath that it has their address as "4801 W. Peterson Avenue, Suite 615, Chicago, Illinois 60646."

Their website and their letter look amazingly similar to the Kids.com [...] you have listed on your website. They may have changed their name and moved. I may just be cynical and they could actually be legit, but I don't find them listed with SAG or AFTRA. They don't have any complaints with the Better Business Bureau, but they may just be too new?

Anyway, my daughter is going to call them, but I will be forwarding her your website first, so she will be armed with the knowledge and aware of what to look out for.

For the most part, I just felt compelled to give you this information because it may be useful to you and I feel that you are providing a good service by exposing this kind of [...]. I thank you for the information.

Please let me know if you have heard of "Ad kids." Also, if it would be useful to you, I can mail you the letter that was sent to my daughter. She has a two-year-old son and not a lot of money, so I would hate to see her taken.

Not that my grandson isn't the cutest kid on the planet (and, of course he could be a model), but I know of the music industry scams, so I was suspicious of this also.

Thanks again,

Concerned Parent

 

March 8, 2004

Is this company legit? We have received a letter from this company for our kid and want to know if this company is legit.

Concerned Parent

 

March 8, 2004

Have you ever heard of the agency AD kids? I believe they have offices in Chicago and New York. I just met with an agent this week about my 3 year old, and I haven't been able to find ANY information about them other then their website, www.adkids.net.

Any help would be appreciated.

Concerned Parent

 

March 2004

I asked them and they kept pointing to the loads of pictures they had on the walls featuring ads of Gerber and other famous baby brands.

I asked to speak to references and they said, they would only give us references of families who have been successful and that would solve no purpose as those kids would have nothing but good stuff to talk about.

They asked for $595 upfront and I told them I wanted to think about it and get back to them before paying any money.

They said I was comparing my child's great potential to a mere few dollars.

I insisted I was not going to pay that very day; I would get back to them.

On that he said I was wasting their time... that I was not a good mother... that I was depriving my child of success for a few dollars.

At this I picked up my stuff and walked out.

These people are definitely there just to [...] people off... I there anything we can do about such companies who [...] innocent parents?

Concerned Parent

 

Comments

The practices, prices, upfront fees, recurring fees, contracts, letters, marketing, demographic focus, and office locations of Ad Kids are remarkably similar if not identical to those of Kids.com LLC. There was an unconfirmed report Ad Kids was started by former employees of Kids.com. This is very easy to believe, because the number of similarities between the two companies is explained by an intimate knowledge of how Kids.com operates. In any case, Ad Kids emailed a response to earlier public criticisms of their company, and they were confronted with five direct, specific, relevant questions:

1. How is Ad Kids different from Kids.com?
2. How many kids does Ad Kids represent?
3. How many kids that Ad Kids represents have received paying work through AdKids?
4. How many kids that Ad Kids represents who have received paying work through Ad Kids have earned more than $595?
5. Finally, does Ad Kids uphold the ethical standards of the Talent Managers Association Code of Ethics?

Below are their answers:

April 1, 2004

1. How is Ad Kids different from Kids.com?

As we explained, AD KIDS has NO affiliation Kids.com. All that we can
address are the business practices of AD KIDS. It would be unethical to
make commentary on Kids.com's business practices. We welcome specific
questions about our business.

2. How many kids does Ad Kids represent?

AD KIDS represents approximately 700 children.

3. How many kids that Ad Kids represents have received paying work through AdKids?

As we explain to all prospective and current clients, there is a very
small rate of success in the modeling industry. We do have children
that have worked and have been paid.

4. How many kids that Ad Kids represents who have received paying work through Ad Kids have earned more than $595?

The exact earnings of our clients are strictly confidential.

5. Finally, does Ad Kids uphold the ethical standards of the Talent Managers Association Code of Ethics?

After reviewing the Talent Managers Association's website and their code
of ethics, we believe that we adhere to an even higher standard of
ethics.

-

The Ad Kids rebuttal was not acceptable; it was evasive; therefore, the following follow-up email was sent:

April 2, 2004

> 1. How is Ad Kids different from Kids.com?
> As we explained, AD KIDS has NO affiliation Kids.com. All that we can
> address are the business practices of AD KIDS. It would be unethical to
> make commentary on Kids.com's business practices. We welcome specific
> questions about our business.

Fair enough, so the specific questions are: a) do you solicit clients using
letters? b) do you charge your clients $595? c) does the contract last 5
years? d) do you state your success rate in writing before payment?

> 2. How many kids does Ad Kids represent?
> AD KIDS represents approximately 700 children.

> 3. How many kids that Ad Kids represents have received paying work
> through AdKids?
> As we explain to all prospective and current clients, there is a very
> small rate of success in the modeling industry. We do have children
> that have worked and have been paid.

Is this information about YOUR small success rate on your WEBSITE?

> 4. How many kids that Ad Kids represents who have received paying work
> through
> Ad Kids have earned more than $595?
> The exact earnings of our clients are strictly confidential.

Didn't ask for the exact earnings of all your clients or any of your clients.
Asked: How many kids that Ad Kids represents who have received paying work
through Ad Kids have earned more than $595?

> 5. Finally, does Ad Kids uphold the ethical standards of the Talent
> Managers
> Association Code of Ethics?
> After reviewing the Talent Managers Association's website and their code
> of ethics, we believe that we adhere to an even higher standard of
> ethics.

What!?

CODE OF ETHICS

1) Personal Talent Managers shall generally be compensated on a commission
basis.

2) With the exception of reimbursements for monies advanced, no fee may be
charged or collected for profit at the expense of a signed client by any
Personal Talent Manager from any Artist for:
a) Registering or listing the Artist in Entertainment Industry or other
publications or registries; or
b) Letter writing; or
c) Photographs, film clips, video tapes or other reproductions of the Artist's
likeness or performances; or
d) Any other charge or fee of a similar nature.

. . .

4) The term of a Personal Talent Management contract shall not exceed three
years, except in the music field, where the term shall not exceed five years.

1. Are you only compensated by commission?

2. Do you collect fees for Registering or listing the Artist in Entertainment
Industry or any other charge or fee of a similar nature?

3. Is the term of your contracts more than 3 years?

P.S. Where do you come up with $595 when your success rate by your own
admission is very low?

-

Ad Kids never responded to these questions.

 

Consumer Inquiry

April 22, 2004

I RECEIVED A LETTER FROM ADKIDS PERTAINING TO MY CHILDREN POSSIBLY BEING ABLE TO BE MODELS AND I RESPONDED. I MADE THE CALL AND THEY HAD ME INTERVIEWED ABOUT MY GIRLS.

I WAS TOLD THAT I PASSED THE INTERVIEW AND NEEDED TO SET UP AN APPOINTMENT TO COME IN AND HAVE THE SECOND INTERVIEW DONE.

WELL, I WENT IN WITH MY THREE GIRLS AGES X, X, AND X, AND MY HUSBAND AS WELL. THEY INTERVIEWED US AND MY GIRLS AND CONTRACTED ONLY ONE OF THEM.

SO WE WERE VERY EXCITED.

THEN THE BOMB DROPPED INTO OUR LAPS ABOUT NEEDING TO PAY $595.00 FOR THEM TO MANAGE HER FOR 5 YEARS.

WE DON'T MAKE THAT MUCH MONEY BUT I WAS ABLE TO PAY IT. WE WENT IN FOR THE FIRST PHOTOGRAPHY SHOTS THAT WE HAVE TO DO EVERY SIX MONTHS (I HAVE TO PAY $20 FOR THE SITTING FEE).

WELL, WE DID THAT BUT HAVE NOT HEARD ANYTHING FROM THEM YET. I AM JUST NOW LEARNING TO USE THIS INTERNET THING AND WENT TO WWW.ADKIDS.NET AND FOUND LITTLE ABOUT THEM.

THEY NOW WON'T ANSWER MY CALLS NOR ANSWER ANY OF MY QUESTIONS. I THINK I WAS POSSIBLY [. . .].

HOW CAN I FIND OUT AND GET MY MONEY BACK?

Concerned Parent

 

May 23, 2004

I am a young single mother of a beautiful one-year-old boy. He really is cute! People stop me at least once a day and say how cute he is. He is also full of character and warm with strangers. So you can imagine how eager I am about his face being seen.

I received a letter from AdKids in New York City stating that they wanted to meet my child about a possible career on television or in printed ads.

During our first meeting I was asked to pay $595 for their services as well as a $20 sitting fee for photographs. This sounds a lot like Kids.com.

Please, if you have any information about them, email me. I'm not able to surf the web a lot, but I check emails daily.

Concerned Parent

 

June 24, 2004

My husband and I were [...] by Ad Kids. We stupidly responded to a letter we received and eventually paid a $595 fee up front for “pictures” of our baby daughter and have yet to receive one call for an audition/go-see since we paid.

When I called the man we met and with whom we signed a contract to express my concern, a man who identified himself as Donald “Joseph,” he stated that it was a very real possibility that our daughter may never receive a call as he cannot predict the market.

I saw that as an instant red flag when, months before, he thought our daughter was “perfect” and should have no problem getting jobs (though he did not guarantee that).

I have spent a considerable amount of time researching this company and it looks like it is operating just as Kids.com did. In fact, after looking back at my daughter’s “welcome letter” from the company, it was signed by a Mr. Donald “Voight” who just so happens to have been the Vice President of Kids.com. My gut tells me that Donald “Joseph” and Donald “Voight” may very well be the same person.

I have spoken with Mr. “Joseph” and expressed my concerns about the company. I also asked for my money back. He became extremely defensive and would not answer the questions I asked him. Needless to say, he would not return our money.

I am now in touch with the BBB, The New York Dept. of Consumer Affairs, The Federal Trade Commission and the New York State Consumer Protection Board as well as another AdKids parent who was misled by Mr. “Joseph.”

Beware of this company and any other one that asks for your money up front, even if they claim it is for “pictures.” Research an agency thoroughly before signing anything and never feel pressured to sign at an initial interview. Any reputable company will give you time to think about it.

Best of luck,

Concerned Parent

 

June 10, 2003

Can you please give me some info on Kids.com? Also, if you have any info, for another company called Ad Kids which has expressed interest in my children. I was told they were a company formed largely of people who used to work for Kids.com, but were unhappy with their [...] and decided to go out on their own.

Can you give me any information regarding Ad Kids as well?

Concerned Parent

 


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