TORONTO (PGN) >> A group of models who were hired to promote Motorola during Toronto’s Gay Pride festivities in June say they still haven’t been paid.
The seven young men, dressed only in black trunks, spent two 10-hour days on their feet at the crowded Church Street festival promoting Motorola’s “Product (Red)” line of cell phones.
Motorola Canada donates $8.50 from the selling price of the phones to the Global Fund to fight AIDS in Africa.
The models, who had their upper bodies spray-painted red and had white Motorola logos and slogans painted on their chest and backs, claim they were to be paid $575 no later than Aug. 3.
But Hands On Staffing Solutions – the company that recruited them – failed to issue payments and went out of business on Sept. 10.
The models’ appeals to Motorola Canada were fruitless because the company left the promotion in the hands of its public relations firm, Hill & Knowlton, which insists it paid Hands On in full.
In an e-mail distributed on Sept. 13, Charmaine Loverin of Hands On advised that the company closed due to “a large revenue loss and client insolvency” that left it with unrecoverable debt and reduced cash flow.
Loverin, who now works in the fundraising department of the Canadian Centre for Abuse Awareness, refused to discuss what happened to the funds that Hill & Knowlton forwarded to Hands On to pay the models.
The models are hoping Motorola will step up and compensate them for their work.
“We did what we were hired to do and we represented Motorola well,” said one of the models, who asked that his name not be published. “Now it’s time for them to do what’s right.”
He added that the models – some gay, some straight – were sexually assaulted and surreptitiously photographed and videotaped by revelers during the weekend.
Repeated calls to both Colleen McClure, Director of Marketing for Motorola Canada, and Kathryn Hanley of Hill & Knowlton have not yet been returned.