Modeling Agencies and Talent Scout Scams Involving Model and
Child Actor Searches for Casting Director Conventions
We'll Just Powder His Snout
Promoted via television, radio, newspaper, direct mail and the
internet, Screen Tests Inc. advertises that they seek children
to appear in TV commercials and magazines.
They say that they have created more stars than any other company
and that their clients appear in national advertising campaigns.
Hoping to make a movie star of your child you respond by calling
the number in the ad. They tell you that for a prepaid fee of $45
you will receive an objective, selective evaluation, called a "screen
test" to determine whether your child will be one of the select
few likely to obtain paid work as an actor or model..
The screen test consists of a ten minute session taped with a
video camera, conducted at a local hotel. Beforehand, they encourage
you to buy a copy of the test for an additional $20, but do not
discuss any further fees.
The talent director, who claims to have many years of professional
experience in talent evaluation, fills out a form printed on letterhead
of the American Child Actor and Modeling Association, showing that
your child has passed the screen test and can begin to earn money
He then pressures you to spend $795 for their "agency introduction
program" which they claim includes the type of photographs
your child needs to interest agents or casting directors and help
finding agency representation.
During this initial visit, the talent director claims that those
who buy and complete their program have a high rate of success
and are likely to obtain agency representation with acting or modeling
jobs and guarantee that at least one agency will offer to represent
To boost their claims they tell you they are members of the American
Child Actor and Modeling Association ("ACAMA") which
they say is an independent, objective, charitable, educational
organization formed to protect you from unethical business practices
in the performing arts, and that the ACAMA has
recognized and endorsed Screen Tests Inc.
They encourage you to check out Screen Tests Inc.'s reputation
by contacting ACAMA so you call and visit
its web site, "http://www.acama.com," where it is indeed
shown that Screen Tests is an ACAMA-endorsed company.
About two weeks after you buy the agency introduction program
and have your child attend a photo shoot, you receive only 100
color portrait-type photos of your child along with envelopes and
address labels for a few model and talent agents.
When you complain to them and demand a refund of your $795, they
refuse. They claim you waived the right to a refund when you signed
receipts that state they have fully explained the program, that
you understood the program, and that you agreed that no refunds
So it turns out that the screen test was not an experienced person's
professional, objective, selective, reliable evaluation of whether
your child will obtain work as an actor or model. In fact, the
screen test was a marketing ploy designed solely to induce the
purchase of agency introduction programs.
The talent directors have no professional experience or basis
for talent evaluation. Even if your child bore a startling resemblance
to a pot-belly pig they would pass their screen test.
Your child is not likely to obtain agency representation or modeling
jobs as the result of buying their introduction program. The type
of photographs they sell are neither necessary nor likely to secure
agency representation or a modeling or acting job primarily because
an infant's looks change so quickly the photos become outdated.
Legitimate agents, advertising agencies, casting directors and
producers generally ask for casual snapshots of infants that have
been taken by family members or friends.
Another big surprise, the ACAMA is not an
objective, charitable organization, and is not at all independent
because the owner of Screen Tests formed ACAMA,
shares an address and telephone number with them and is the registered
owner of ACAMA's web site.
Getting Looks From Crooks
You are approached at the mall by a talent scout who states that
you have just been selected to interview with Model Search Inc. because "you
have the look" that could get you work as a model or actor.
He gives you his card with a flyer and suggests you give him a
call to set up an appointment.
The promotional brochure contains the following:
The hunt is on for new faces. MODEL Search Inc.,
one of the largest talent management and scouting companies in
the country, is looking for new faces. With offices in major
cities we have everything you need to enter the industry . .
Visions of glamour, travel and money flash before your eyes so
you attend the interview where you find yourself in an office filled
with lots of other model and actor hopefuls. The Vice President
of Talent Management informs you that he will likely recommend
you for talent management services but that a committee of industry
experts will make the final selection.
The Vice President also tells you that, as a prerequisite for
agency representation, you must take modeling and acting training
from them. He states that their modeling and acting workshops
have a limited enrollment and that only 10% of people interviewed
are accepted for this training.
He then indicates that you must pay a deposit for the workshops
which is fully refundable if you're not accepted by the review
He also says that you are likely to obtain substantial paid employment
if selected for their management services and that they have numerous
well-known client businesses, organizations and entertainment entities
who hire the models and actors they manage.
You are told that the way they get paid is by a percentage of
the money paid by their clients to the models and actors they represent.
They also claim to have provided casting services on numerous film
productions, including, but not limited to, True Lies and Dave.
Excited about your future career in acting you agree to purchase
the expensive talent management services sold by their agency.
In fact, their talent management services are not selective in
scouting, screening and reviewing consumers for marketability as
models or actors. Their principal source of income is not client-paid
commissions but fees paid by consumers for their talent management
services, including modeling and acting training.
It is highly unlikely that you will ever be able to obtain substantial
paid employment as a model or actor through their efforts.
Just Sign Here and Here
One Los Angeles modeling scam operation which targeted small towns
in Oregon ran ads in the local newspaper saying they were looking
for models for TV commercials. You were to send in your bio and
a couple of snapshots.
After you sent in your info they would contact you and tell you
that you had the look they needed and promptly signed you up for
a high-paying commercial.
They would need to do a test shoot before the actual commercial,
but they said all of it was paid for, except the makeup artist.
They would send along contracts, airline vouchers, and lots of
official looking paperwork. The catch was that the model had to
pay for her own make-up artist for which they needed $500, up front.
The small town dreamers, not knowing how the industry worked and
having a contract in hand, sent in the $500, but once the check
was cashed the scam artist vanished and the commercial contracts,
airline vouchers and the guarantees were all found to be bogus.
Talent management services shall mean
the offer and sale of modeling and acting training classes, separately
or in combination with other services for aspiring actors and models,
including, but not limited to, referrals for representation, job
placement and photographic services.
Modeling (or talent) agencies secure employment
for experienced models and actors.Someagents require that you sign
up exclusively with them; others may allow you to register with
them as well as with other agencies in town. Fees for the agency’s
services are limited to 10% by law, in most instances.
Model/talent managers differ from agencies
because managers are in the business of overseeing the careers
of their clients. Arranging for employment is only an incidental,
or minor, part of the working relationship between manager and
client. Thus, managers advise their clients on appearance, style,
portfolio layout and direction of their career and generally charge
fees ranging from 15% to 20%.
Modeling and acting schools claim to provide
instruction, for a fee, in poise, posture, diction, skin care,
make-up application, the proper walk, and more. Modeling schools
do not necessarily act as agents or find work for you. After you
take their classes, you may be on your own.
||Beware of any newspaper classified
or display ad looking for any kind of model or talent. Modeling
agencies have plenty of hopefuls coming to them so they don't
have to advertise for models.
||To avoid being ripped off, aspiring
models should look for and attend “open calls”at
reputable modeling agencies. Well-known agencies in large cities
usually have open calls on a weekly basis.
||Do not respond to subway, bus or
classified ads that promise modeling and acting jobs to people
with no experience, or of all ages and sizes, etc. They are
||If an agency has to charge money
up front it usually means they do not have enough modeling
work for either the agency or the model to survive on.
||You should be free to go to any
photographer you want to. Legitimate agencies will provide
you with a list of photographers that you could go to.
||Modeling agencies are not employers.
So, while they may try to get you work while representing you,
there is no way a legitimate agency can guarantee you work.
||The hours of a model are uneven
and sporadic. You will not have the flexibility to choose your
own hours, so beware of claims that you will be able to "Work
full or part time."
||All photographs may be shot in
one session by one photographer, but you should still look
different in all your photographs by wearing a variety of cosmetics,
clothes, and hairstyles. Beware if it's the salesman snapping
off a few shots like for a passport photo.
To break into the business, you need professional photos
of which there are two standard types, a "head shot" and
a "composite card."
The head shot usually is an 8" x 10" black and
white photo of the face, with your resume printed on the
back. A "comp card" usually features several shots
on the same sheet, showing off poses in different attire
||Be sure to get all verbal promises
||Be leery of companies that only
accept payment in cash or by money order. Read it as a strong
signal that the company is more interested in your money than
||Often, what you thought was a legitimate
job interview with a talent agency turns into a high-pressure
sales pitch for modeling or acting classes, or for "screen
tests" or "photo shoots" that can range in price
from several hundred to several thousand dollars.
||Any professional casting director,
agent, or manager has an office and regular business hours.
There is no reason to discuss employment opportunities or negotiate
contracts late at night or in someone’s apartment.
Unscrupulous model and talent scouts have their acts down pat.
Listen carefully to read between their lines.
"We're scouting for people with your 'look' to model
and act." - I need to sign up as many people as
possible. My commission depends on it.
"Your deposit is totally refundable." -
Your deposit is refundable only if you
meet very strict refund conditions.
"You must be specially selected for our program.
Our talent experts will carefully evaluate your chances at success
in the field and will only accept a few people into our program." -
We take everyone with money.
"There's a guaranteed refund if you're not accepted
into the program." - Everyone's accepted
so you can forget the refund.
"You can't afford our fees? No problem. You can work
them off with the high-paying jobs we'll get you." - We
demand payment, whether or not you get work.
"Commissions from our clients are our major source
of income." - Our income comes from the fees we
charge suckers like you.
IMTA is over once again and the mail pours in and continues to
get worse. I got a letter from a kid this morning about his experiences
including watching kids rip off their clothes at the dance and
(my personal favorite), with several agents holding a pot party
with some "contestants" in the bathroom of his hotel
He said he just invited some agents and kids up to his room for
a final party and had no idea that the agents brought their own
entertainment. He said he left until he thought they would be gone
but when he got back to his room one of the agents asked him to
be sure that one of the girls made her plane because she was too
wasted to get there by herself!
Something has to be done and I don't know who else to contact.
With some companies the process is first of all to advertise a modeling & talent
search called an open call. At the open call there is a brief interview
and an on camera evaluation. Those of school age or older are also
provided a script to read while infants and small children
are just filmed.
Participants in the open call who are deemed by "industry professionals" as
having potential are sent an acknowledgment letter inviting them
back for a meeting ( call back ) reviewing the company's offer to
participate in their "annual event" held in one or several
major cities around the country.
To participate in the event, consumers are required to pay
a non refundable registration fee as well as all expenses to and
from the event.
The search companies will insist they do not offer employment nor do they
provide representation or agent services. Their business could best be
described as an event organizer where profits are generated from merely
having hopefuls show up to the event. Talent and opportunity may or may
not play a role in their business formula.
Subject: modeling / acting scams
Date: 28 Aug 2001
Recently my daughter was given a "call back" by a talent
search by the name of NYC Fame. I was just wondering if you know
any thing about them or if you have been alerted by another consumer
of anything negative about this company. Please let me know as
soon as possible. Thanks for the info.
Model Search Mom
My daughter and several of her friends recently attended a preliminary
MGM Talent Showcase meeting.
While the representatives convincingly insisted that only 150
of the participants would receive a second interview, she and most
of her friends have received a postcard inviting them to second "evaluation". From
that meeting only 45 will be selected to participate in the Las
Vegas Convention to meet with major casting directors.
We must be prepared to pay $495 for the entry fee, dinner
and various other fees at the end of this second meeting. We
fully support her desires to become an actress as long as she remains
focused on a well rounded education. Do you have any information
MGM Talent Showcase Convention
|MTS - Casting
590 Madison Ave, 21st Floor
New York, New York 10022
|MTS - Casting
859 North Hollywood Way
Burbank, CA 91505
Mark W. Gorman
My daughter and I recently attended an open-call put on by a company
called Proscout that says they provide fresh talent to the top
modeling and talent agencies around the world. They selected my
child to attend an "event" up in San Francisco at a cost
to us of $465.00 plus hotel, food, and airfare.
Can you tell me if they are reputable? Are they always scams?
I have been invited to attend an invitational by Proscout International.
I was told I had to pay $460 to attend along with airfare, food
and lodging. All the modeling agencies say they know of them but
could you tell me if they are legitimate.
Lisa Rice 08/02/02
I'm afraid that I have no information on these operations but
ask that viewers with any good or bad experiences to please write
in. Visitors are urged to check out any company's record with the BBB.
Inclusion of corporate info within this section by no means indicates
any wrongdoing on the part of those mentioned. No allegations are
intended or implied.
All industry participants are invited to submit their business
model for clarification, along with any words of caution for parents
who have children seeking such a career. Surely they must know
that there are bad apples within their ranks and should be happy
to enlighten the public on the pitfalls.
If you still feel it is worth the expense of attending such an
event for the possibility that an actual casting director will
attend with the honorable intent of seeking employment for your
child without any strings attached, which might incur additional
but unneeded expenses, then by all means verify their track record
and pack your bags.
Were it my daughter, I would try to overcome the enormous amount
of peer pressure from her friends who will insist it is the chance
of a lifetime, to both be famous and see the big city, and suggest
an alternative option which might cost the same but have more lasting
results such as acting or singing lessons.
Good luck using logic against emotions though. You might just
be branded a demon for squashing her hopes and dreams; forever.
For more info on Modeling Scams visit ModelingScams who,
incidentally, were forced to change service providers when Options
Talent complained about their coverage of them.
Trolling for Talent
I received an email from Options Talent Group ( now Trans
Continental Talent ) saying that I needed to hurry to a
last minute interview with them. Well, since being registered
on several internet job hunting sites, I have received many responses
to my resume but not all are worth the follow up.
I was a bit skeptical, so I ran a query on MSN which led me to
your site and very helpful information.. I politely turned them
down. This present volatile economy is discouraging enough
without ending up at an interview like that.
Jeanna S. 07/29/02
1200 Times $285 Equals $342,000
I'm currently a working model and actress who responded to a radio
ad a few years back and attended a "free try-out" for
ProScout which represents modeling agencies throughout the world.
Gathered in a large hotel banquet room, they had everyone who
responded walk up to the tables where they would either hand you
a card (which meant you were accepted) or not. Most did NOT get
the card and had to leave while the rest of us sat and listened
to a long promotional pitch for their annual convention in Minneapolis
which cost $285 at that time. Thinking this was my big chance,
I paid it and went.
Following introductions, and a few motivational speeches containing
affirmations like "You can achieve anything you dream",
or "I didn't think I could do it, but here I am now!",
we were tagged and sent to walk a cat-walk before the agents.
We were all ages, guys, girls, and kids; but mostly young, hopeful
girls. When they asked how many seeking representation had been
to it before, about twenty raised their hands.
With a number clipped to our shirts, we then passed the agent's
tables holding our modeling pictures for them to view. It's not
voting. They viewed you and wrote down numbers of those who they
were interested in. There were approx. 25-30 agencies represented
by 1-2 agents (not judges) each.
About an hour later they came back to their seats this time on
a stage/platform. All the models either sat or stood at the rear
of the room as two people from ProScout announced the numbers from
each agency over a loud speaker. E.G., "Acme Talent Agency";
123, 78, 34, 992, etc., etc.
Most of the BIG agencies accepted very few people (less than 10
people each), and most of the agents present were from those agencies.
Of the 1200 hopefuls there, only about 300 had their numbers called.
If your number WASN'T called, you were plum out of luck and asked
to leave the hall. The people selected stayed and moved closer
to the platform where the agents sat and waited as all the rejects
filed out, many of whom were girls were in tears.
They spoke to us a bit, and afterwards we filed out to met with
the agents who picked us. I saw two agencies. One was a local one
who, like the other, picked almost everyone left standing.
The Kimberly Franson agency held a meeting a week later for all
those accepted by her for which she not only required us to send
her $25 to attend but expected everyone there to shoot new photographs
with her at a cost of $500. One mother took her child and left
in disgust but the rest of us were mesmerized by the possibilities
To keep your pictures on file she also required $165 for her techs
to "put them on a special card" for her clients to view.
So far she has cost me a lot of time and money and provided me
absolutely zero in return.
The other agency I met as a result of my ProScout experience has
gotten me three jobs to date, but it turns out I didn't need ProScout
to get represented by them. All one has to do is send your pics
to an agent and based on that alone, they will take it from there.
Since my experience I've met and talked to a few other models
who described a similar experience. None had kind words to say.
My opinion is that while it's not as bad as many modeling/talent
come-ons, I think the methods they use are unethical and I would
not recommend it.
They even had the nerve to sent a letter the following year ('99)
saying I could come back for just $200 since I already been!
Do They Warrant Exposure?
Recently I went to a model/talent search for X-posure International,
happened to make the 2 cuts and was invited to the Millie
Lewis Modeling & Talent convention in Orlando, Florida taking
place July 1-7, 2003.
I was told only 40 people from my province were picked to go to
this convention, but they said they were scouting all over the
world for talent. To go, the "Conference Package" is
$2895. This does not include any other costs whatsoever such as
a; plane ticket, hotel, photos, hair, makeup or food.
When all these costs are added in the total is around $5000. They
also asked for a $500 deposit which must be made within the first
week and is non-refundable. I was wondering if you have received
any complaints about this organization or know anything about this?
I want to make sure that it is not a scam should I decide to invest
a large amount of money.
Recently, I attended an "open call" with a company called
Manhatten Model Search www.manhattenmodelsearch.com which was advertised
on TV and radio, etc.
About 100 people attended and it appeared that about 40 got "selected" to
stay and hear more. When we first got there, two men introduced
themselves as professional scouts and said that while there were
many other companies similar to theirs, Manhatten Model Search
was the first and the only one that was for real.
We were all invited to attend a one day event call in Washington,
D.C. which had been chosen as the meeting spot for our region.
He said there would be representatives from 50 or so talent and
modeling agencies and everyone there would be treated to lunch
and lectures on what the business is about.
Each person is given the chance to walk a runway in front of the
reps and afterwards everyone gets into a single file line where
you get to meet the reps face to face to hand over two good pictures
The scout told us we should probably just get a disposable camera,
go to our backyard, use the entire camera, choose the best headshot
and full body shot and make some copies.
After walking by the reps they may do call backs for an interview
and from there you either are turned away or given an agency contract.
The catch is this day costs $450 though the scout told us that
if we were to take this on ourselves it would cost much more because
we would have to go to open calls in NYC, LA, Chicago, Miami, or
We would also have to pay for our hotel and food while we were
there and all of this would be rather pricey. He said that they
cannot do this for free because it costs a lot of money to advertise
for their open calls and to fly in all the agency representatives.
If you could please write back and tell me what you think it would
be greatly appreciated.
Too Young For Disappointment 08/02/02
Malcolm In The Middle East
My daughters and I were approached by a lady who introduced herself
as a talent scout and asked to take my daughter to a "talent" screening
stating that Debonair Marketing has helped many children get on
the following shows: Stuart Little, Lizzy McGuire, E.R., Sabrina
the Teenage Witch & so on.
They represent themselves as an independent firm of "Hollywood
Group". Raquel also told me they were planning to take the
show "Malcolm in the Middle" to the Middle East and were
looking for children with the proper looks and accents.
We were enthusiastic since my almost 16 year old daughter and
her friend wanted to start working, against our wishes.
While most parents naturally think of their children as being
beautiful and worthy of becoming a star, both of our daughters
are actually very striking, tall, slender and proportionate. So
it did not seem unlikely that someone from the entertainment industry
might notice them. I therefore took them all, with their 16 year
old friend, to the screening but was surprised to find there were
well over a hundred children waiting in line.
We were asked to provide a snapshot picture at the screening though
they also filmed them for a few seconds while asking a few general
questions. Parents were asked to complete a form indicating our
occupations, phone #'s, addresses and annual income. Although I
completed the forms I did feel uneasy that I provided all that
All of the children, regardless of their looks, were screened,
even my 15 year old son who is experiencing the joy of acne.
Before we left they collected the business card I was given in
the mall. My oldest daughter is enthusiastic but I am so concerned
that I do not even plan to take her to the interview which I anticipate
will be scheduled soon.
Rosie Tatulian 09/08/02
Drawing Offers Like Flies
This is the third time, while in a public place with my children,
that I have been approached by someone with a business card and
a screening time saying that my child has "the look".
It's also the third company and location.
Are there any legitimate companies that do get clients this way? I
have never gone to any of these "meetings", but my son
is now really interested and has his feelings hurt that I won't
The "Malcolm in the Middle East" story is almost
identical to my situation. In Target a lady named Raquel says: "Is
that your son?"... "He has the look."
Same list of shows: Sabrina the Teenage Witch, E.R., Lizzy
McGuire and movies of Stuart Little 1 & 2,
American Pie 1&2 and music videos for Jennifer
Lopez, KORN, Dixie Chicks and Janet Jackson.
Would the name of the company help? Entertainment Talent
Scouting Services at www.scoutingservices.com
Any information would be greatly appreciated.
A concerned Mom,
I See Gullible People
My son and I were shopping in Target over the weekend when two
women ran up to me and asked, "Is this your son?" I told
them that he was.
One of them introduced herself as a talent scout from a company
in Beverly Hills, California, called Debonair Marketing.
She said that my son had the looks for commercials. She handed
me a card and asked me to attend a screening the next day (Sunday)
at 2:00pm. She asked me to bring a picture and have him dressed
in bright colors. She assured me that they were looking for children
to appear on "Sabrina the Teenage Witch".
My son didn't seem to care one way or another if I brought him,
but I thought it might be interesting.
While we arrived, there were a lot of children waiting for a screening.
Some of them had professional pictures and some of them didn't.
While we were waiting, they had the parents fill out a form. The
form asked a lot of general questions, but also asked the parents'
annual income. I was very suspicious and chose not to include that
Each child was put on video for a short time and asked a few general
questions, and then quickly moved to a table. At the table a gentleman,
claiming to be a manager, took one look at my son and said: "I
don't usually do this, but I would like to manage your son".
He said that he had nice eyes and was very good-looking. He asked
us to move to a room where a lady was waiting to talk to us. The
lady asked my son some more general questions and asked if he had
had any acting lessons. She said that they would be talking to
a lot of children and that if they were interested, they would
call me within a few days.
I was very suspicious, did some checking, and found a similar
story on your site involving the same company.
The next day, as I anticipated, the lady called saying that my
son was one of four children chosen out of 311. She asked me to
bring my husband and attend another meeting the following day.
I asked her to explain the process and to tell me if any money
would be involved. She told me that in order for my 12 year old
son to attend auditions, he would need to have their seven step
Each step would cost around $200.00 and was a small investment
compared to what he would be making. She said each commercial would
pay at least $3500.00 and that the people involved in her firm
were responsible for the children who appeared on Jerry McGuire,
the Sixth Sense, and many others.
I took her number but never called back after more internet research
pointed out that if they ask for money it is a scam. If they really
were interested in my son, they would invest in him. If I hadn't
done the research and my son was really interested, I might have
Janet S. 10/24/02
I feel an 18 year old friend got ripped off by American Model
Search in Las Vegas for $500. All she got was 48 pictures on a
CD and some comp cards.
Then they wanted her to pay $800 for more.
Allan Perry 06/11/03
New York Talent Agency Agrees to Refunds
01/06 - The state of New York has reached a settlement with The
New Faces Development Center, which was cited for making deceptive,
and exaggerated claims about the services it provided to aspiring
models and actors.
Under the settlement, New Faces will pay the state $75,000 in
penalties and $2,000 in costs, and up to $500,000 in restitution
to aggrieved consumers.
New Faces, based in Hicksville, claimed that it provided talent
management services including industry placement and training,
and that it was highly selective in scouting, screening and reviewing
young people for potential as models and actors.
However, New Faces is not a modeling agency and rarely obtained
modeling or acting employment for its clients.
It principally provided photographic services and for an additional
fee, posted photographic images on its website, Gigacomps.com,
presumably to promote its clients to industry professionals.
"This company appealed to the desires of children, teenagers
and young adults to become 'stars.' Parents believed New Faces'
misrepresentations that their children would have lucrative futures
as working models or actors," Attorney General Eliot Spitzer
said. "Model and acting development centers and photo studios
should only promise what they can actually deliver."
New Faces' "talent scouts" are accused of approaching
consumers, usually children, teenagers and young adults, in public
places such as the Roosevelt Field shopping mall, Jones Beach and
The scouts led youngsters to believe that they had been scouted
because they have a "look" that made them likely to succeed
as models and actors. They were told that they would incur no costs
and should contact a "Director" at New Faces to schedule
According to the allegations, those who met with a director were
led to believe that only a few of those interviewed were actually
offered an opportunity with the company, that they must sign a "photo
shoot agreement" that same day, and pay hundreds or even thousands
of dollars to get started.
In truth, New Faces was not highly selective about whom it scouted
or signed to photo shoot agreements. New Faces sometimes even extracted
additional money from its clients by directing them for additional
services to its affiliated companies, including Gigacomps.com,
Vanique and Nijah Productions.
Prior to the settlement, the Attorney General's Office, the Better
Business Bureau and the Nassau County Department of Consumer Affairs
had received approximately 55 complaints against New Faces.
New Faces also has agreed make changes to its business practices
and to comply fully with New York State Law. The company will retain
relevant records for inspection by the Attorney General's office.