The high street fashion chain French Connection (FCUK) has advertised a full-time, three month unpaid internship on their company website — and ignored multiple emails from us asking how they feel this fits with National Minimum Wage legislation, as part of our Pay Your Interns campaign.

After 18 emails and five phone messages from Graduate Fog — sent over six weeks to four members for the HR and press office teams — we are still waiting for a response about the company’s internship policy. But we can see the brand is currently advertising a three-month internship on their own website, which is full-time and pays expenses only. It also appears to be a position which is effectively permanent; the intern is just replaced every three months. (The ad seems to be permanent – only the start date for the next placement changes). Here is the ad in full:

Work Placement Details

About us:
French Connection are a premium high street brand, offering a fashion-forward, design led range of quality products at affordable prices. Our customers, typically aged 18-35, appreciate that the brand is at the leading edge of high street fashion and always create unique collections rather than throw away fashion. We design ranges of both men’s and women’s products from underwear to outerwear, casual wear to suits, denim to dresses, accessories and kidswear.

Fantastic work placement opportunities for fashion-loving individuals to join the in-house press team based in vibrant Camden.

You are:
The successful candidate will be studying on a fashion, PR or media related course at HND/Degree level or come from a PR agency background who wants to gain in-house experience.

You will also need to hold the following key qualities:
– Hard working
– Diligent
– Strong communication skills
– Organised
– Computer literate (Excel, Outlook and Power Point)
– Able to handle pressure in a fast paced working environment
– Good telephone manner
– Ability to work independently and within a team
– Have a passion for fashion
– Genuine interest in PR and fashion

We offer:
In return we will offer you a three-month work placement (full or part-time) within a fast pace press office where no two days are the same. You will gain first hand experience of life in an in-house press department and throughout your time with us you will build media contacts and a breadth of knowledge vital for getting your first step on the PR ladder.

This work placement is unpaid; however travel expenses will be re-reimbursed.

Next work placement available starting: January 2012

So if you think you have got what it takes to make an impact in the world of PR, we want to hear from you!

French Connection can hardly claim they can’t afford to pay their junior staff — the company recently reported a rise in profits this year, when a spokesperson for the brand predicted “great opportunities” for the business in the coming months.

So what are they thinking of, advertising this role so brazenly – and not responding to any of our emails?

We’re not sure we have “what it takes to make an impact on the world of PR” – but we do hope this blog post has “what it takes” to give you a bit of bad publicity.

*Have you been FCUKed by French Connection?
Have you interned for the brand? Or are you shocked by their arrogance?

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