American Marketer


Condé Nast pledges to safeguard models’ dignity, well-being

January 31, 2018

Titles at Condé Nast Worldwide News boutique in London. Image credit: Condé Nast


In light of the #MeToo movement and sexual harassment allegations in modeling and Hollywood, media group Condé Nast International has announced behavioral guidelines for its photoshoot partners.

Published Jan. 31 on the British Vogue Web site, Condé Nast’s Code of Conduct, effective immediately, is designed to “safeguard the dignity and well-being” of anyone working with the publisher’s brands in all operating markets. Condé Nast’s Code of Conduct is an update to its 2012 Model Health Initiative.

Up to code
Condé Nast’s updated Code of Conduct follows allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and sexual harassment claims against fashion photographer Terry Richardson, which resulted in the publisher nixing its relationship with the latter (see story).

The Code of Conduct was developed based on feedback Condé Nast received from discussions with more than 150 bookers, publicists, agents, models, stylists, editors and others working across publishing.

“We are committed to collaborating to find solutions to the problem of sexual harassment in our industry,” said Jonathan Newhouse, chairman and chief executive of Condé Nast International, in a statement. “By adopting these recommendations all those involved in the creative process will be doing their part to ensure a safe and respectful work environment.”

Condé Nast’s Code of Conduct includes that all models on set must be 18-years-old. If children are essential to the story, young models must be accompanied by an agency-provided chaperone.

Also, any photography with nudity, sheer clothing, lingerie, swimwear, animals, simulated drug or alcohol use or sexually suggestive poses must be approved by the model ahead of the shoot. No one on set can be under the influence of alcohol or illicit drugs.

All models must be provided with a private dressing area. When not in the dressing space, models should not be left alone with a photographer, makeup artist or any other participant during shoots.

The full Code of Conduct can be read here.

Condé Nast has also established a senior executive committee to review any complaints by shoot participants. If the committee finds any code violations, Condé Nast will immediately terminate the working relationship with the person in question and pledges that all other necessary steps will be taken, such as reporting allegations to authorities.

Organizations such as Model Alliance have advocated for model protections due to rampant allegations and mistreatment. Likewise, luxury conglomerates such as LVMH and Kering singed a joint-charter to protect the models featured in brand campaigns (see story).