Zulu Alpha Kilo was a startup company with only a few clients when they decided to stop doing “spec” work. Spec work is when services are asked to be provided for free, usually from creative industries, with the hope of perhaps getting payment on future projects. Five years later, Zulu Alpha Kilo is thriving, and now they are urging all creatives to demand compensation for their services.
Yet spec work remains entrenched in our industry. It’s an antiquated practice that has been part of the creative world since the Mad Men era. It’s a cog in the increasingly bureaucratic procurement machine.
We’d like to help unchain clients and agencies from this outdated process. Because we really do believe that it’s bad for clients. It’s bad for agencies. And it’s bad for the entire industry.
They company decided to produce a video that shows why “spec work” or “working for free” is an utterly ridiculous concept. Take a watch, it is totally worth your time.
The video has triggered the hashtag #SayNoToSpec, which has started to pick up serious steam:
— Colette Turbeville (@therealcolette) November 6, 2015
— barbara barna abel (@BarbaraBarna) November 6, 2015
— Jessica Osborne ☕✨ (@littlecuppajo) November 6, 2015
Next time someone wants you to work for spec, take your cue from this video and ask them if they work for free.