Simon Rogers runs a talent agency called Ugly NY. He's not looking for high fashion or fierce. No, his job is to scout models with a certain je ne sais quoi. Despite the provocative agency name, the models signed to Ugly NY aren't all ugly--they are "unusual" and "unique." Remember that episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm where Larry's blind friend thinks he's dating a model (played by the amazing Jackie Hoffman)? Well, maybe she was a model after all.
There is a growing market for "real people" models. It seems that Madison Avenue is cashing in on America's recent love affair with homegrown celebrity and the average albeit quirky Joe. Perhaps that explains why YouTube sensation Tay Zonday is now the star of a Dr. Pepper commercial?
We're all about seeing more real people when we flip the channels and flip through magazines. The downside here is that "ugly" amateurs generally get paid a fraction of what the pretty pros make (shocker). Advertisers say that they're not just trying to save a few bucks by hiring these mostly nonunion workers left and right, but we suspect that many real people are getting really bad deals.
And because everything goes back to reality television, Rogers says that Ugly NY will be the subject of an upcoming cable reality show. Yeah, we'll be watching. [New York Times]