Published on November 21, 2012 | by Morgana Edwards

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Unpaid interns protest outside Purple PR

interns protesting

Protester’s spoke to a police officer who ‘supported what they were doing’ [Tom Nicholson]

A charity that campaigns against exploitation in internships held a protest with students from the University of the Arts London outside an upmarket PR company last week.

Intern Aware organised the protest to highlight the company Purple PR, who have previously employed interns without pay or expenses.

Purple’s client list includes the likes of Beyoncé, Dizzee Rascal, Adele and Rita Ora.

The protest group tweeted all the way through the protest, not only at the company, but also at their clients.

Unfair

Co-director of Intern Aware Gus Baker, 22, said: “Some of the clients of this company are millionaires and they can not even pay their interns.”

One of the protesters, who did not wish to be identified. said he had worked at the company for a year with no payment.

UAL’s student union, SUarts, told Arts London News they had previously e-mailed the company using an e-mail address created for the purpose, enquiring about internships.

“It is important to do stuff like this, to keep putting pressure on companies like Purple.” Fairooz Aniqua

Purple PR responded immediately to the inquiry detailing the work that would be expected, that they were not interested in candidates that were “workshy” and that any position they offered was unpaid.

Letters

The protest group signed and delivered identical letters to the receptionist at the company headquarters, which called for the company to end its use of unpaid interns.

The receptionist responded with: “Protest about something important, like starving kids in Africa.”

SUarts Culture and Diversity Officer Fairooz Aniqa, 22, spoke of the importance of continuing this campaign: “It is important to do stuff like this to keep putting pressure on companies like Purple,” Aniqa said.

The police were called to the scene and asked the protest organisers a number of questions, before leaving.

Purple PR were contacted a number of times for comment but have yet to respond.

 

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