Police File Complaint Against Pulse Management in Talent Scam Referral Racket
Stacey Eastman aka Pulse Management.
Can I sell you a bridge in Brooklyn? No? How about $2,000 of photography marketing?
NEWS: Ace reporter Rick DeBruhl Catches Stacey Eastman in $2,000 photo marketing racket.
Pulse Management in the News:
Rick DeBruhl, "Talent
agency troubles," Call 12 For Action, KPNX-TV [Phoenix],
Aug. 23, 2004.
http://www.azcentral.com/12news/consumer/articles/0823action-talentagencies-CR.html [Aug. 28, 2004].
Rick De Bruhl, "Talent,
modeling firms have long been BBB concern," Call 12 For
Action, KPNX-TV [Phoenix], Aug. 30, 2004.
http://www.azcentral.com/news/columns/articles/0830action30.html [Aug. 30, 2004].
* San Diego District Attorney Tricia Pummel: 408-792-2880 is the main
number for Consumer Protection
* Portland Police1111 S.W. 2nd Avenue Portland, Oregon 97204 503-823-0000.
* Oregon Attorney General - http://www.doj.state.or.us/FinFraud/welcome3.htm
* U.S. Postal Inspection Service
"Postal Inspectors investigate any crime in which the U.S. Mail is used to further a scheme, whether it originated in the mail, by telephone or on the Internet. The use of the U.S. Mail is what makes it a mail fraud issue."
The $2,000 Eastman Photo Mill Racketeering Scam
Follow the Money Trail to Stacey Eastman
Financial Interest Exposure: Modeling Company Pulse Management Caught Referring Clients to Expensive Photo Marketing Company It Owns
WEB EXCLUSIVE/SPECIAL INVESTIGATION
August 4, 2004
[Last Updated: August 26, 2005 ]
Pulse Management (pulsemanagement.com) aka PA MA HAUKA CORPORATION
Capture Productions (captureproductions.info)
5th Element Artists, Inc., dba Fifth Element Artists (fifthelementartists.com)
Sub Zero Development
Stacey Eastman aka "The UPS Guy" and Shayna Eastman (fka Shayna Edwards)
Della Bass, photographer
"According to talent agents, portfolios are developed over the course of a person's career. Therefore novices do not need expensive portfolios." -- Better Business Bureau
The following information is based on consumer complaints, BBB reports, secretary of state business registration information, review of Pulse Management exclusive contracts, photo agreements, their websites, and email exchanges with the registered owner of Pulse Management, Shayna Eastman.
Speaking on condition on anonymity, one consumer wrote:
- I signed a contract with Pulse Management, located in Carlsbad California four months ago. They told me that day that I could be a big star and could go very far, but I need to get a portfolio. They wanted me to go to this one photographer that would charge 1900. We signed contract thinking they were legit and a couple weeks later went to the photo shoot for my portfolio. After that we had to wait three months for all my stuff to come back. While waiting I researched some stuff. The photographer that we were told would be the best one for me was the one Stacey Eastman from Pulse told us to go to. And the company that the photographer was affliated with was Capture Productions. Just a little concerned I went to the register.com where you can purchase websites and I looked up Capture Productions and who it is owned by. It came up as Capture Productions but the contact email and the contact phone number was [email protected] and the same number as pulse's, which means the photography company is affliated with Pulse Management, but they wanted it to look like it's its own business. As of now, I have cut contract with Pulse Management and have gone with a reputable AGENCY in San Diego and in Los Angeles. Stacey Eastman was helpful from the start, but once the money went through whenever emailed responded with one-word answers. Is that what a real manager should be doing?
An aspiring model visited what he thought was their office; it turned out it was a UPS mailbox! He took and submitted the following pictures:
300 Carlsbad Village Drive, Carlsbad
300 CARLSBAD VILLAGE DR 108 A
CARLSBAD, CA 92008-2905
He also visited the address which he thought was the office of the company to which he paid $2,000 for photography/marketing upon the advice and direction of Pulse Management after the owner was extremely rude. It also turned out to be nothing more than a UPS mailbox! The addresses for both companies were only 18 minutes apart. He sent the following pictures:
310 S Twin Oaks Valley Rd, San Marcos
UPS Store, 310 S Twin Oaks Valley Rd # 10, San Marcos, CA
Most recently, Pulse Management named its location:
818 sw third ave.
suite # 1471
Portland, OR 97204
(http://www.pulsemanagement.com/contact.htm) [Aug. 8, 2004].
This "corporate address" is not a business address (with Pulse offices). Once again it is a UPS Store:
818 SW 3RD AVE
PORTLAND, OR 97204
The business address on fifthelementartists.com, the website of Fifth Element Artists, was 3439 NE Sandy Blvd Ste. 648, Portland, OR 97232. There is no office of Fifth Element Artists on 3439 NE Sandy Blvd in Portland; once again, it is a UPS money collection mailbox:
3439 NE SANDY BLVD
PORTLAND, OR 97232
Both their companies, Pulse Management and 5th Element Artists, included "suite" (or "ste") for their business addresses. (This was even the representation on the Pulse Management Exclusive Contract.) This is misleading because it implies they have an office at that address when it is only a mailbox. A mailbox is not a suite!
PM told the BBB they do not make money before talent gets work: "According to the company, they do not accept any type of up front fees for providing their services, but are paid a percentage of the talent's earnings." This is a misleading statement because Pulse Management's owners accept upfront fees for the amount of $2,000 for providing their services of photography and marketing, and they direct their clients to give their money to them up front.
PM's exclusive contract signed by one consumer gave Pulse the right to advise them about which photographer to choose: "Talent authorizes and appoints Pulse as Talent's Attorney-in-fact, and "Mother Agency" as the term is customarily used, to perform and provide the following and other services relative to the Industry: a) Advise and counsel Talent in the selection or consideration of career opportunities, photography, advertising. . . b) Advise on the use and formation of a portfolio, composites and other promotional materials" (¶5).
Of course that would give Pulse the right to advise talent to use their other company, 5th Element Artists, to provide photographic and marketing service (!). Nowhere in the contract did Pulse disclose they own the photography marketing company to which they direct their clients.
"Talent must obtain the following materials at their expense unless otherwise indicated within three (3) months of contract signing, and maintain the same throughout the term of this agreement. Failure to do so may be deemed cause for termination of this agreement: professional photography, portfolio, composite cards, and Internet exposure approved by Pulse" (¶10).
Since the contract requires talent to buy professional photography, portfolio, composite cards, and Internet exposure "approved by Pulse," and Pulse refers talent to buy professional photography, portfolio, composite cards, and Internet exposure from their other company, 5th Element Artists, Pulse can veto any and all professional photography, portfolio, composite cards, and Internet exposure not provided by their other company, 5th Element Artists, even if the quality of the photography is high, because they will not make any money off it. There can always be some "reason" why the photos are "not good enough."
One aspiring model's mother shared this exact experience:
- I emailed the pictures to Pulse, and they weren't what Stacey was looking for. Personally, I love some of the pictures, but hey, I'm just a mom. Oh No!!! I can't afford to go thru this a dozen times, before I find the "look," now what???
[Faced with the prospect of continued rejections because the photography "isn't good enough," the pressure is on to use the photographer recommended by Pulse, because only then can the model or model's parents be sure they won't have to try again and pay again and again and again.]
- . . .
Late October 2003
Well, we've now shot with 5 different photographers. I've found favorite pictures in each group. It totally amazes me, how the overall look can be so different with each photographer. I emailed some of the pictures from the last shoots to Pulse, and still not what they were looking for. Their solution . . . "sorry not able to use shots. try a local agency and get started with your pic's there and build up and talk to us once again once your book is stronger." Well, what exactly did this mean? I was devastated, I shot off an email to them, asking how I was to try a local agency, when I had an exclusive contract with them, if they were releasing us from their contract, I needed it in writing . . . guess what I got in the mail a few days later?? yep, a letter releasing us from Pulse... now what??? Until we get pictures they want, we are on our own.
- http://www.itzmeagain.com/jsmoddiary [Aug. 27, 2004].
The way it is set up by Pulse, they can make a meaningless commitment, which costs them nothing. They don't pay a cent and the contract does not guarantee talent work. The contract allows Pulse to say photography is not good enough and so everyone who does not buy their expensive $2,000 marketing package via 5th Element Artists can be released from the contract!!!
The modeling industry is littered with cases of aspiring models who paid agents or managers for photography but did not get work. In California it was so bad they finally made a law which bans an agency from even collecting money for photos (Labor Code 1700). The law strikes back at the talent agency so hard they have to provide a full refund and pay 100% penalties.
To avoid the law, agents started calling themselves managers, but in 2000, a new law was enacted to ban managers from charging talent, directly or indirectly, for photography, marketing, etc. (Labor Code 1701). Knowing that talent agents could try to evade the law, thinking they are so smart, the law actually says an agent is prohibited from referring talent to a company in which it has a financial interest to buy photography and marketing materials:
- No talent agency may refer an artist to any person, firm, or corporation in which the talent agency has a direct or indirect financial interest for other services to be rendered to the artist, including, but not limited to, photography, audition tapes, demonstration reels or similar materials, business management, personal management, coaching, dramatic school, casting or talent brochures, agency-client directories, or other printing (1700.40 (b)).
It's similar for managers:
- An advance-fee talent service, or its agent or employee, may not do any of the following. . . . Charge or attempt to charge, directly or indirectly, an artist for creating or providing photographs, filmstrips, videotapes, audition tapes, demonstration reels, or other reproductions of the artist, casting or talent brochures, or other promotional materials for the artist. . . . Refer an artist to any person who charges the artist a fee for the services described in subdivisions (e) to (i), inclusive, in which the advance-fee talent service has a direct or indirect financial interest. Accept any compensation for referring an artist to any person charging the artist a fee for the services described in subdivisions (e) to (i), inclusive. (1701.12. (f, j, k)).
Further, the modeling industry's EIC Code of Ethics, which makes no ethical distinction between talent agents and talent managers--"The term agent is hereafter deemed to be synonymous with the terms: talent agent, agency, artist's manager or personal manager"--says: "It is not a condition of representation that an agent stipulates the photographer, printer, school or any other service provider for the client. Should an agent have any financial interest in above named businesses, full disclosure about said interest must be provided" (¶5).
1. Pulse Management was registered as a business in San Diego County in the name of Shayna Edwards on June 27, 2000.1
2. Leah Edwards was registered as a business in San Diego County in the name of Shayna Edwards on September 6, 2002.2
3. Capture Productions was registered as a business in San Diego County in the name of Leah Edwards on September 6, 2002.3
4. Shayna Edwards aka Leah Edwards married Stacey Eastman and changed her name to Shayna Eastman.
5. Stacey Eastman works for Pulse Management as a scout.
6. Pulse Management advised and referred new models with whom they signed model management contracts to Capture Productions (captureproductions.info) for model marketing products and services.
7. The cost of the Capture Productions model photo and marketing package sold to new models signed to Pulse Management was about $2,000.
8. Neither Pulse Management nor its representatives told new models or gave them a written Financial Interest Disclosure Statement before payment to explain they own not only Pulse Management but also Capture Productions.
9. Pulse Management bought BBB membership.4
10. Capture Productions bought BBB membership.5
11. The BBB decided to suspend Pulse Management's BBB membership.6
12. Pulse Management resigned its BBB membership.7
13. Capture Productions resigned its BBB membership.8
14. After Capture Productions resigned its BBB membership and closed its website, Stacey Eastman advised and referred new models who signed contracts with Pulse Management to Fifth Element Artists.
15. 5th Element Artists, Inc., dba Fifth Element Artists, was incorporated in the State of Oregon on February 11, 2004.9
16. Pulse Management had a promotional graphic link on their website (pulsemanagement.com) to the website of Fifth Element Artists (fifthelementartists.com).10
17. Fifth Element Artists offers the same products and services as Capture Productions did.
18. The cost of the Fifth Element Artists model photo/marketing package is the same as the Capture Productions model photo/marketing package, about $2,000.
19. Fifth Element Artists is owned by Shayna Eastman, Stacey Eastman's wife, the same owner of Capture Productions and the same owner of Pulse Management.11
20. Fifth Element Artists says it operates out of Portland, Oregon.12
21. Pulse Management said its "corporate address" is in Portland, Oregon.13
22. Pulse Management has done business in California but it has never had a California talent agency license.14
23. PM has told the Better Business Bureau they are not a talent agency.15
24. PM is not an agency but it leads consumers to buy expensive photography when industry experts advise not to buy professional photography until they get signed with an agency.16
4. http://www.sandiego.bbb.org/commonreport.html?compid=4001187 (2002).
5. http://www.sandiego.bbb.org/commonreport.html?compid=20006797 (2002).
6. BBB Reliability Report, Pa Ma Hauka Corporation, The San Diego Better Business Bureau, "In March 2004, this company resigned its BBB membership while suspension proceeding[s] were pending." http://www.sandiego.bbb.org/commonreport.html?compid=4001187 [July 24, 2004].
8. "This company decided to drop their membership." -- BBB San Diego by email (February 2004).
name=5TH%20ELEMENT%20ARTISTS&p_regist_nbr=&p_srch=PHASE1&p_print=FALSE [July 24, 2004]. Oregon Secretary of State Business Registry.
10. http://www.pulsemanagement.com/links.htm [July 24, 2004].
11. The whois domain record for captureproductions.info, the website of Capture Productions, listed an address at 3439 NE Sandy Blvd Ste. 648, Portland, OR 97232. The business address on fifthelementartists.com, the website of Fifth Element Artists, was 3439 NE Sandy Blvd Ste. 648, Portland, OR 97232.
12. The 5th Element Artists, Inc. business was incorporated in Oregon and the contact address on fifthelementartists.com, the website of Fifth Element Artists, was 3439 NE Sandy Blvd Ste. 648, Portland, OR 97232. http://www.fifthelementartists.com/flash.html [July 24, 2004].
13. 818 SW Third Ave., Suite # 1471, Portland, OR 97204. http://www.pulsemanagement.com/contact.htm [July 24, 2004].
14. http://www.dir.ca.gov/databases/dlselr/Talag.html [July 24, 2004].
15. "This company offers placement of artists with talent and/or modeling agencies. They are not talent agents." http://www.sandiego.bbb.org/commonreport.html?compid=4001187 [Aug. 27, 2004].
16. "If you are just starting out it is probably not a good idea
to get professional pictures taken until you have been seen by a model
agent. [. . .] Let's be clear on one thing--you do not need professional
pictures to be evaluated by an agency. Any new face booker or agent should
be able to let you know if they want you based on amateur pictures. They
may want more or different types of pictures before they give you a decision,
but spending on professional pictures before anyone commits to you is generally
a waste of time and money."* — San Diego Model Management. "Do
not, I repeat, do not spend money on professional photographs until you
have a reputable agency working with you."** — Lara
Bonomo, Teen Vogue Bookings Editor. "Please do not spend
any money on professional pictures if you do not already have them--snapshots
are just fine."*** — Cast Images Talent Agency. "Is
it necessary to spend money on professional pictures prior to joining a
talent agency? Before an evaluation there is not [sic] need to
spend money. Once there is a mutual agreement to join our agency,
we will suggest you invest in a professional headshot."**** — JAV
Talent. "One big mistake that many aspiring models make is spending
tons of money on photos, portfolios, and composites before they get an
agent. This is a total waste of money and time, and people who tell you
otherwise either don't know what they're talking about or are scamming
you. [. . .] All photos taken without an agent's guidance are essentially
useless because the photos may not capture the image the agent plans to
build for you and promote to the fashion industry. [. . .] Photographers
often prey on young, unsuspecting models and their parents, suggesting
that models need loads of professional pictures, composites, portfolios,
and elaborate, expensive photo sessions before they've found an agent or
started their careers. They'll tell the models that agents won't accept
them if they don't have a portfolio full of pictures. In these cases, the
photographer is probably trying to scare the unsuspecting model in order
to make money off the photo session, the development and processing of
the film, and the printing of contact sheets and photos. [. . .] The most
that's needed to get your foot in the door are a few snapshots that by
no means require a professional to take. As I've said, anything more is
really a waste of time and money."***** — Roshumba
Williams, Supermodel. "Do not get a portfolio before getting an agent."****** — Nina
Blanchard, Nina Blanchard Agency
*"San Diego Model Management Frequently Asked Questions," n.d.
http://www.sdmodel.com/faq.htm [Aug. 19, 2004].
**"teenvogue.com: advice: career counsel: answers," teenvogue.com, n.d. http://www.teenvogue.com/advice/career/answers/?030317ascaan [Aug. 19, 2004].
***"Cast Images: Getting Started," Cast Images Talent Agency, n.d. http://www.castimages.com/gettingstarted.cfm [Aug. 19, 2004].
****"JAV Talent -- FAQ," JAV Talent Agency, n.d. http://www.javtalent.com/faq.htm#q2 [Aug. 19, 2004].
*****Roshumba Williams, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Being a Model (Indianapolis: Alpha Books, 1999), pp. 86-87.
******Cited in Erik Joseph, The Glam Scam (Los Angeles: Lone Eagle, 1994), p. 81.)
See also Modeling Tips: Expert Modeling Advice
Model Scam Check
If you have been scammed by Eastman, contact: Portland Police 1111 S.W. 2nd Avenue Portland, Oregon 97204 503-823-0000.
East runner turned model: Salt Lake teen skyrockets from student to star
(UTAH) - Ali Stephens has gone from the run-way to the runway.
In a whirlwind five weeks, the East High School runner has signed a contract with Elite Model Management in New York, made her runway debut at the Prada Spring/Summer fashion show in Milan and walked for designers including Chanel, Miu Miu, Givenchy, Nina Ricci and Louis Vuitton as part of Fashion Week in Paris.
She was part of a private showing for Anna Wintour, the Vogue magazine editor-in-chief said to have inspired the book and subsequent film, "The Devil Wears Prada."
And now, Calvin Klein and Vogue magazine could be waiting in the wings.
Not bad for a 16-year-old who has had her eye more on marine biology than mascara.
"It's been so busy, and it's a lot of running around," she said, "but it's been really fun."
"What takes years for some girls took her a few weeks," said Roman Young, director of new faces for Elite Model Management and Ali's manager. "I think if she wants to and she has the determination, her chances of being a major, major model are very, very high."
Ali, who got her braces off last spring, and her sister Maddie, a senior at East, were shopping with their parents at The Gateway last summer when a man told their father they could be models.
"It's like, we've heard that before, but OK," father Marc Stephens said.
The man turned out to be a scout and invited the pair to an open call for Pulse Management, which works with Elite. It slipped their minds. But then the man called the family and invited the sisters to send in snapshots.
Shortly after, Stacey Eastman, who runs Pulse Management, called the family and asked to send a New York photographer to work with Ali so he could shop her portfolio to the big agencies during Fashion Week, her dad said.
On Sept. 13, the family learned designer Jill Sander had requested Ali for her show and that three agencies were vying for her.
"They sent me her pictures, and immediately, I was like, 'Oh, my God, this girl is amazing,"' Young said.
Her symmetrical face, health and athleticism — she's a ranked runner — set her apart, Young said. Her hard work and discipline — she takes Advanced Placement classes and maintains a 3.8 GPA — would serve her well during 13-hour days, often spent in fittings and waiting while remaining happy, friendly and personable, a task that is trying even for adults.
Ali signed a three-year contract with Elite days later, then jumped on a plane for the Big Apple, where she spent about three days for a crash course in modeling — including the famous runway models' walk — and left for Milan. It was her first time out of the country. Thankfully, Elite helped expedite her passport, her dad says.
"She's never done anything in modeling — nothing, zip — and really wasn't that interested," Marc Stephens said. Sister Maddie often is asked if she is a model, and when Ali's around, "the joke is, Ali says, 'What am I, chopped liver?"'
In Milan, where Ali went with her mother before the rest of her family joined her, she walked for Jill Sander. Then for Prada, whose new faces the fashion industry closely watches, Young said.
"Once she appeared on that runway, then the avalanche of calls came in," he said.
Ali was offered exclusive runway experience with Prada, meaning she couldn't walk for any other designers in Milan, Young said.
Later, she was was booked in some of the best shows in Paris for Fashion Week and opened the Chloe show. Life was hectic, whisking from show to show — Ali did three in one day, and once left her history homework behind in the rush.
"Backstage gets pretty hectic the few minutes before, but ... all the models are really nice and friendly," Ali said.
Ali loved walking for Louis Vuitton and Prada, but the Nina Ricci show was a turning point.
"It was so beautiful ... how they put it together and the runway," she said. "One of the best parts (was) kind of realizing everything. OK, I guess I'm a model now. I realized it at that point."
Now, she's being looked at for the Calvin Klein campaign — casting is Sunday in New York. Vogue has requested her, as have several Italian businesses, Young said. Teen Vogue also has expressed interest in Ali, possibly for a cover.
"People who watch the industry are following her intently," Young said. Her rise, he said, "is phenomenally fast."
Paris Fashion Week has concluded, but this past week Ali's been doing photo shoots and interviews with a European magazine and The New York Times Magazine, which was shot in London, her dad said.
But at least today, Ali's back in Salt Lake City after skyrocketing into the fashion world. She'll return to school and cheer on her team at the State Cross Country Championships.
With the next three years committed to modeling, Ali is unsure what will happen with her schooling; maybe she'll need to check into the Internet home-school program through Brigham Young University.
Still, she hopes her return to East High next week can be business as usual.
"I don't want to be treated any differently, but I don't know" how peers will react to her newfound career, she said. "I guess we'll see."
Deseret Morning News - October 13, 2007
#86 or #88, 305 NE 6th St.
Grants Pass, OR 97526.
Phone: 888-727-6569 Oregon
Rogue of the Week - 5th Element Artists Inc.
Laura Jones—5 feet, 6 inches and 125 pounds—could have been on the path to Vogue.
Instead, the aspiring 22-year-old model from Vancouver uncovered this week's Rogue—5th Element Artists Inc. —a photo agency in Portland. Jones' dreams cost her more than $2,000 and ended with her photo on 500 cards that feature her nipples more prominently than her eyes.
The story begins last October at the Crystal Ballroom, where a roving modeling scout for Pulse Management approached Jones, who was attending a Decemberists concert. The scout told Jones she could be a model and referred her to Pulse.
Jones then attended a cattle-call audition with other men and women Oct. 21. There, Jones says, Pulse owner Stacey Eastman told her she'd be perfect for the Asian market because Jones is half Chinese.
Jones then signed with Eastman's management company, and was referred to 5th Element Artists, which is owned by Stacey Eastman's wife, Shayna Eastman. She charged Jones $2,025 for photography, makeup, hair, styling and other incidental costs. (Portland fashion insiders say it's common for wannabe models to front the cash for photo shoots, but that the usual rate is approximately $450.)
When Jones showed up in November for the photo shoot, she says photographer Rodney Ray selected a beige, see-through blouse from her wardrobe and told her to wear it sans bra or tank top. Jones says the photographer told her he'd PhotoShop the photo later to hide anything embarrassing. The photographer declined to answer WW's questions.
But the photo wasn't airbrushed and was sent to Stacey Eastman for his approval. It was then printed on 500 composite cards, which models use to get gigs.
Jones was upset, and now wants a full refund. Shayna Eastman refuses, saying it's Jones' own fault. She did offer a $275 refund. "This was her mistake, if in fact that's what it was," Shayna Eastman says. Jones says Stacey Eastman, her manager, promised her the "Lamborghini" of modeling portfolios.
"I think I got a Ford Pinto," Jones says.
Willamette Week - Portland Oregon, March 7th, 2007
Talent agency troubles - by Rick DeBruhl
Susie Ries and her daughter had big dreams of magazine photo spreads after a talent scout for a company called Pulse Management approached her.
According to Susie, “She told me they were a management company, they weren't an agency. They don't charge anything. She wanted us to come to this big call session.
Pulse Management had a good-looking web site, and a great pitch. The only catch was that Susie needed not just photographs, but “quality” pictures. Of course Pulse preferred they come from their recommended photographer. The photo shoot wasn’t cheap. According to Susie they wanted $2,000.
Misti Wagner is a talent agent who also puts on seminars for people who want to get into the business. She says $2,000 is way too much money to spend for a set of talent pictures. She says children under the age of five don’t the professional set of photos. Wagner says anyone over five should expect to spend between $200 and $300.
Susie Reis actually set up a photo shoot, until she learned more about Pulse Management. She says, “He never ever explains that it's his wife that owns the photography business that he's referring you to. “
In fact, the San Diego Better Business Bureau was suspending the company’s membership for that very reason when Pulse Management resigned. It is now headquartered in Portland, Oregon. The address listed on their web page is apparently not a fancy office but a mailbox at a UPS Store.
Wagner says she hears the same story over and over. “I get calls on a daily basis. And I have submissions that come in from various companies from children who have gone into these companies and had their photographs taken, and never seen any work at all... at least not a paying job. It's one thing to get a job. It's another if it’s a paying job.
Susie Reis is glad she didn’t spend $2,000 for the photo shoot, but she says she also should have done more research in the beginning.
You can find more advice about what to watch for when considering a talent or management agency on the Better Business Bureau’s web site. You can also search each individual company on that site. Beware of companies that have not been around long or may have changed names recently.
No one at Pulse returned our telephone call on the day we wrote this story.
August 23, 2004 - 12 News
After seeing some false and derogatory postings by Pulse Management, Rick
DeBruhl writes in on May 14th, 2007 10:38am - to the Willamette Week Forum
- Portland Oregon
Phew! It's not often I get lambasted for a story nearly three years after it originally aired.
My name is Rick DeBruhl, I'm the consumer reporter at KPNX-TV, the NBC affiliate in Phoenix. I'm a 30 year veteran of the news business with the last 29 spent here at KPNX.
While I wasn't anxious to leap into the discussion about Pulse Management, I do feel compelled to defend both our story and the way it was reported.
I was contacted by a mother here in Phoenix who was not happy with the cost and results after her encounter with Pulse Management. I was never contacted by EZ Background Check. In fact, while I have seen my story linked to their web site, I have never had any contact with the company and know nothing about it.
In addition to talking with locally licensed SAG agencies I also spoke with the San Diego Better Business Bureau. I was told that it was about to revoke the membership for Pulse Management when the company moved out of state.
I did not wait to contact Pulse Management 10 minutes before the story aired. I also did not contact them at the beginning of my day. I spent the day doing research and contacted the company when I had a solid understanding of the situation.
The story aired only once on KPNX. That was August 23, 2004 on our 6pm newscast.
Stacey Eastman did contact me after the story aired. In addition to my work at KPNX, I also write a weekly column in the Arizona Republic. After my discussion with Mr. Eastman I chose to use this topic for my column. At no point did I accuse Mr. Eastman or Pulse Management of fraud or doing anything illegal. My job as a consumer reporter is to point out whether something is a good investment or not.
As for the $50 seminar, that is organized by a Phoenix SAG licensed talent agent. It is strictly information and there is nothing sold (besides information) at any point. You can learn more at:
For the record I never hung up on Mr. Eastman. As always, if there is more information which changes the direction or substance of the story, I would be glad to revisit. I would never make the statement that I only need two valid sources. There are times when two aren't nearly enough and one is plenty. It always varies with the story. I would enjoy hearing the recorded conversation if it were available.
I recommend anyone considering modeling or acting to do a lot of research. It is an industry that has faced plenty of problems.