Struggling picture agency owes photographers thousands

A picture agency that owes nearly £500,000 to creditors has told freelance photographers and writers it will not be able to pay them for up to two years.

Red Cover, based in Balham, south London, has written to contributors who are owed payment to apologise, and has said that a new investor will help it to pay outstanding debt. The agency supplies home interior pictures to Getty Images, and provides some editorial content.

Press Gazette has learned one photographer, who has asked not to be named, is owed more than £11,000.

A letter passed to Press Gazette – from owner Sally Griffiths to one contributor – said: ‘Yes, we are experiencing financial difficulties and as a result we are behind with our photographers’ commission payments.

‘This is due to a number of reasons: the main issue being the enormous expenses that we had no idea we would encounter while building up the business.”

Griffiths said in the letter that bad debt, a new website, new equipment and extra staff had added to the financial difficulties.

The company’s accounts, filed in March 2007, show it had total assets of £218,050 and outstanding debts to creditors of £498,232.

Press Gazette understands that photographers have been sending in hard drives to the agency to get their images back.

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