Colenso BBDO’s controversial, charitable job offer

It’s amazing what lengths some people will go to get a job. But would you pay for a one-month internship at an ad agency? That’s what Colenso BBDO is asking for as part of an charity initiative to raise funds for Cure Kids. And, as a result, social media knickers are once again in a twist. 

As the post on TradeMe said: 

This is an opportunity for an under graduate student to come and get a foot in the door of the advertising world. 

The student would get one month to learn, follow and gain an insight to the world of creative advertising. 

They would be based within Colenso’s world-class creative department and have access to some of the countries best creative teams. 

This is an opportunity that money can’t normally buy. It could be the start of something amazing. 

This auction is for an internship only, accommodation and travel to be undertaken at the expense of the winning bidder.

So far it has received one bid of $100—and a host of angry tweets

Many of the creative and highly competitive industries have been accused of using the intern economy for their own benefit in the past by luring punters with the offer of a potential position and getting free labour in exchange. Some are obviously still willing to take that punt in an effort to get the much-needed experience—and possibly that elusive dream job. But things appear to be tightening up in this industry, with a number of more formal intern schemes being created in the past few years.

Clemenger Group runs its talent programme and last year, its third year of existence, the nine-month programme saw eight graduates join its agencies in Auckland and Wellington. 

“We’ve had a remarkable success rate with the programme over the past few years, with 95 percent of participants being offered a job in one of the Clemenger Group companies after completion,” said Jim Moser, chief executive of Clemenger Group at the time. “… Our talent programme leverages the vast capabilities within the Clemenger Group and exposes bright young professionals to the inner workings of brand, retail, direct, experiential, public relations, media and every other communications discipline within one group structure.” 

DDB also runs a trans-Tasman scheme called Launchpad, which offers three month internships, complete with a small monthly retainer. 

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