Spec work kills: Don’t work for free

Toronto agency Zulu Alpha Kilo wants everyone to just say “NO!” to spec work. What is spec work anyway and why is it so harmful to the advertising and creative industry?


Let’s talk first about what this phrase means. The full version is SPECULATIVE WORK. Speculative meaning, “engaged in, expressing, or based on conjecture rather than knowledge, or (of an investment) involving a high risk of loss.” Well, you are producing quality work based on A CHANCE you might be chosen, I would in fact, call that a high risk indeed. Where is the ROI on an RFP where the prospective client just flips to the back page to see the price? (We also don’t respond to RFPs and here’s why Say No! to RFPs and YES! to QBS.)


The GDC has come out against spec work yet prospective clients still don’t get it. The Canadian Marketing Association has too. Spec work kills time, creativity, resources, and the integrity of the client/agency relationship. Asking someone to work for free is insulting. So don’t do it. Watch the video and see just how ridiculous it sounds. #JustSayNoToSpecWork


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