A campaign running on the London Underground for online freelance marketplace Fiverr has caused a stir online after being accused of making light of the poor working conditions experienced by some young creatives.
Fivver invites freelancers to list services from design to writing and voiceover and individual gigs online with prices ranging from £5 up to £995, and it's latest billboards centre around the ethos: 'In doers we trust'.
One poster in particular has been courting a backlash on Twitter, it shows a women with disheveled hair looking at the camera alongside text: 'You eat coffee for lunch. You follow through on your follow through. Sleep deprivation is your drug of choice. You might be a doer.'
The poster has gone viral on Twitter, with people arguing it glorifies exploitation of those working in the 'gig economy' through its encouragement of sleep deprivation and replacing lunch with coffee.
The "gig economy" is literally killing us.
— it's B! Cavello(@b_cavello) March 9, 2017
— Rob (@RobCabrera) March 9, 2017
— Roberto Torres (@TorresLuzardo) March 10, 2017
— THE REAL SONIC THE H (@FartHog69) March 9, 2017
This whole parasitic App economy has got around to making toil, alienation and wrecking your health aspirational. pic.twitter.com/rpganJVweC
— Hieronymus Burps (@hieronymus_burp) March 9, 2017
The ads are part of a wider campaign from the brand that looks at individual stories of people selling their services within the gig economy. Fiverr's global head of digital Chris Lane told Attn that the project was born out of a large amount of research the company did about who its community was comprised of, and users' mindsets.
"We want people to get out of their comfort zones, challenge them to think about their lives and if they are doing everything they can to achieve success," he added. "The storytelling pushes against bureaucratic overthinking, analysis-paralysis, and the kind of excessive whiteboarding too many of us associate with corporate meeting rooms all over the world."
"With a diverse set of subjects, our creative highlights how anyone with an idea can work to make it a reality with the right amount of dedication," he finished.
Earlier this week London-based startup USPAAH provoked a backlash on Twitter for a poster campaign commuters claimed was "sexist".