This artist's comeback shows up just how ridiculous that Sainsbury's 'volunteer' ad really was

In an age of unpaid internships and astronomical CEO pay, it’s nice to know community spirit can still be relied on.

At least, that is what a Sainsbury’s supermarket appeared to be banking on this week, to excuse the pun.

Rather than pay someone to refurbish their entire staff canteen, a Sainsbury’s branch in Camden, north London, graciously offered an artist – a profession famed for its stratospheric salaries - the “chance to be recognised.”

More than that even – their only chance. The post read:

Sainsbury’s is giving you the one opportunity to build your career and develop your reputation through the allocated store in Camden.

Because careers are built by working for free, people.

Indeed, the Camden branch - part of a corporation which made a £587 million profit last year - even generously stooped to allow people to apply for the role without proving their prior experience! What!

Check this out for flattery:

No qualifications or experience is required as we are simply intrigued and excited about the uniqueness you can offer us.

As one Twitter user pondered:

'We seek to find a diverse artist.' How can one person be diverse?

With that kind of invitation, one sort of wishes Twitter had actually turned up and painted the following responses on the canteen walls.




Sainsbury's HQ has since apologised for the "error of judgment" and says it's chatting to the store in question.

Anyway. While Twitter did a good job of annihilating the volunteer ad, Teri Anne Scoble posted what we think was the best response - flipping the ad around in a poster titled 'Artists are looking for a supermarket to volunteer their skills':

The post reads:

Artists are looking for a well-stocked supermarket to voluntarily restock our kitchens. Gain particular experience in the good industry whilst satisfying our need to feed ourselves and live comfortably.

We seek to find a diverse supermarket, so we encourage suppliers of food fro all ethnic cuisines to apply.

Why not put your skills into action? Artists are giving you the one opportunity to build your customer base and develop your reputation through the creative community.

We are looking for the market to bring their own style to transform our kitchen shelves into an environment that allows positivity and inner peace through the scopes of being able to feed ourselves.

By crafting food into a reality for artists, you are recreating what is originally a basic human right to survive on our sought after skillsets. The new delivery should give artists an atmosphere to look forward to and emphasise on the idea that they don't have to work on an empty stomach.

No qualifications or experience is required as we are simply intrigued and excited about the free stuff you can offer us.

As freelancers, artists are proud to represent a diverse skillset with which you can benefit from. Happy artists offer great works and continued success.

Get your brand recognised. Share your goods with the heart of creativity. Leave tour mark by doing what you love and do best.

indy100 has contacted Scoble to ask where the idea for the post came from.

Artists, hard workers, underfunded professions and anyone not working in big business: please note that where a post is admitted to be “voluntary”, the following buzzwords and phrases will inevitably follow.

  • “share your gift”
  • “ambitious”
  • “gain experience”
  • “own style”
  • “build your career”
  • “crafting your ideas”
  • “put your skills into action”
  • “uniqueness”
  • “intrigued”
  • “excited”

These buzzwords are exposed for what they are - hot air - when you think about them literally.

Don’t be fooled.

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