As long as you create the PDF properly, there should be no issue with the printer doing some color correcting to the images.
IOW, the client is wrong.
Bob is right that if you create the PDF properly, there should be no issue, but without knowing your skills (not only as a designer, but also your knowledge of how this is going to be printed), it's hard to say what the definition of "properly" should be. As an example, I work for a printer, and we do a student publication that is sent to us as a PDF. It's printed on newsprint, and if a photo is too dark, I will go in with Acrobat and adjust the levels of a particular image so that it doesn't look like a dark blur. I would assume that you are more skilled than these students, but there are many different types of skills, and knowing how to design your file to a specific production method isn't something that I've seen from many designers, who I consider very skilled.
Bottom line is that I agree with Bob. Send them a PDF, but if you can talk to the printer, they should be able to give you some specs that you can follow.
thanks - I assumed so too!
I'm pretty experienced, I have been working with Indesign for 5+ years and have the latest CS versions. I've been sending ads to print via Specle for conde nast and other mags for years, and am used to the ICC profiles set up, which I have as a default on my Indesign. I thought that they were wrong about this. Also, as I have prepared each image carefully to achieve the best balance and colour (they are all vinatge images from hi-res scans by others) I have made sure each is set to the same CMYK, ICC profile, etc.
I thought it was pretty antiquated to have to scale each image to the right size to show at 100% on the page, cropped to fit the picture box exactly... that's just shed loads of extra work and unnecessary. Thanks, just good to hear I'm not barking up the wrong tree.