Now the BBC joins in exploiting creatives

BBC Worldwide’s ‘Creative Challenge’ is another fake competition that wants you to work for nothing.

I’ve written before on why you should avoid ‘competitions’ that ask you to create design, art or motion work to a brand's brief for nothing – but a new attempt by the BBC to exploit students and new graduates means it’s worth reiterating the point.

The latest exploitation is by the commercial arm of the BBC, BBC Worldwide, through ‘new creative’ portfolio site Arts Thread – both of which should know better. They want students and new graduates to create a short film, animation or poster to their brief and you might win £500. And if you’re really really lucky you might get a paid internship within BBC Worldwide. I’m not going to dignify the brief by repeating what it is here, but it involves this commercial company’s core value statement (which apparently isn’t ’screwing young creatives rather then paying them what they’re worth’).

They also dangle the usual line of exposure – what Jessica Hische so accurately calls 'the most toxic line of bullshit anyone will ever feed you' in her popular flowchart Should I Work For Free.

If BBC Worldwide really want to help young creatives and not just exploit them, they should hire them the traditional way. I don’t expect they use the same approach when finding professionals in other sectors; I see no evidence of competitions to provide services for them from catering to fixing the toilets. BBC Worldwide needs to offer money in exchange for services, not an almost-certainly-empty promise in exchange for your talent and graft.

And if you have the time to work on a project like this and the competition aspect appeals, you’d be better off entering a charity project like Secret 7” (for which the winners are being showcased down in Shoreditch at Mother this weekend – and on the 19th). You’d not only be helping putting an end to ‘competitions’ like BBC Worldwide – as they will swiftly fall out of favour if no one enters – but gaining exposure in a non-exploitative way and helping a charity raise money rather than a corporative save some.

Neil Bennett is editor of Digital Arts.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

Read Next...