Are you or your agencies exploiting the value of creative talent?

This post is by Darren Woolley, Founder of TrinityP3With his background as analytical scientist and creative problem solver, Darren brings unique insights and learnings to the marketing process. He is considered a global thought leader on agency remuneration, search and selection and relationship optimisation.

I saw this on Facebook last night. It was a post by Barney Hoskyns, shared by my friend Stan Johnson at BrandDNA.

I have reproduced it in its entirety here as I think there is food for thought for the suppliers of creative and especially for the buyers.

Left brain versus Right brain - courtesy of Mercedes Benz

STOP WORKING FOR FREE.

Calling all freelance content providers (musicians, writers, actors, photographers, designers etc):

Join me in WITHDRAWING UNPAID LABOUR from the creative and media industries. The exploitation of freelance content providers has gone on too long, and we are all responsible for letting it happen.

Please do not:

  • Write, act, photograph or design for free
  • Provide images, music or performances for free
  • Do radio or television interviews for free

If a company or corporation asks you to provide your time and skills for nothing, TURN IT DOWN. You have nothing to lose by saying NO.
If you have any concern at all for your economic future as a content provider – and for the future of subsequent generations of such providers – please don’t ignore this issue.
PASS THE WORD ON to any content providers you know.

Further thoughts for those with a slightly longer attention span…

TO THE EXPLOITED:

  • If you allow yourself to be seduced by the myth that your unpaid labour will “look good on your c.v.” (or equivalent blah), try to see that you jeopardise not only the welfare of your replaceable elders but your OWN long-term economic future.
  • You set up a paradigm whereby you in turn become replaceable. The rolling exploitation of unpaid workers and perpetual interns is based on a false notion of deferred reward.
  • If we do not start demanding recompense, ultimately humans will have no value. As Jaron Lanier states in his essential new book WHO OWNS THE FUTURE?, “Capitalism only works if there are enough successful people to be the customers.”
  • How is it that our online habits have huge big-data value to tax-avoidant entities like Google, Facebook and Amazon yet NO VALUE WHATSOEVER when we request payment for our contributions to the networked information economy?
  • We must return to the core humanist principle of valuing not just institutions and material things but actual living humans.
  • If the present economic paradigm prevails, it will vindicate Margaret Thatcher’s contention that there is no such thing as society. Wouldn’t it be nice to prove her wrong?


TO THE EXPLOITERS:

  • If you are making money from the labour of others, then you should share that wealth with them.
  • If you knowingly exploit somebody while telling yourself, “Why would I pay someone if s/he’s willing to work for nothing?”, how do you sleep at night?
  • If you habitually hire interns, at what point does their work experience end? At what point does somebody actually become WORTH PAYING?
  • The culture of internship and work experience sustains class inequality, because only privileged kids can work for free. Only THEY receive the economic subsidy the government withholds from those born poor and with little hope of educational betterment.
  • This is not only a moral but a MARKET imperative. In the long term markets will collapse if there aren’t enough people sharing in the wealth.

THANKS FOR LISTENING.

So are you guilty of exploitation? Or is there nothing to feel guilty about and this is simply market pressure? I think this is worth discussing.

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About Darren Woolley

Darren is called a Pitch Doctor, Negotiator, Problem Solver, Founder & Global CEO of TrinityP3 - Strategic Marketing Management Consultants and a founding member of the Marketing FIRST Forum. He is also an Ex-scientist, Ex-Creative Director and a father of three. And in his spare time he sleeps. Darren's Bio Here Email: darren@trinityp3.com
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