Officials have been asked to investigate the style empire Vice, after an advert was posted for a “sharp and savvy” person to work as a “sales administrator – work experience”. In August, Rupert Murdoch bought a 5% stake in the hipster media giant for £45 million. He is the world’s most vocal champion of making people pay for journalism.

Vice’s advert was spotted during research for Graduate Fog’s “Shame intern Scrooges” campaign, which has been running all week (Link dead? See screen shot of the ad below). Every day, we have exposed employers who are currently advertising a role which appears to resemble an unpaid internship, reminding them of their duty to pay their young staff a fair wage for their work. Our friends at Intern Aware then hand the advert to officials at HM Revenue and Customs, who last month promised to investigate all cases passed on to them. The Vice advert – still live at the time of writing this – states:

Role: Sales Administrator — work experience
Start date: ASAP

VICE started in 1994 as a newsprint monthly in Montreal, and is now a global youth media company that includes print, event, music, online, television, and feature film divisions that operates in over 30 countries. Vice is the industry leader in original video for the web. With dozens of original series franchises across all content categories, Vice publishes about 60 minutes of new video content every day.

VICE is seeking a sharp and savvy Sales Administrator to support our sales and business development team. You will assist with delivering reports, supporting sales and business development with general account management, responding and building media responses and executing creative mock-ups. There may be opportunities to attend meetings and sales pitches.

Experience and Qualifications:

– Confident phone manner with lots of energy
– Experience in Keynote preferred
– Excellent writing and communication skills
– Sharp attention to detail
– Analytical mind
– Excellent I.T. skills

Send a detailed cover letter and CV by email to Reference “Sales Administrator — work experience” in the subject line.

We look forward to hearing from you!

As you can appreciate we receive many applications and cannot reply to you all individually. If you do not hear back from us within one month then unfortunately your application has been unsuccessful.

Thank you once again for applying and we wish you success in your future career.

The exact nature of the role is unclear, but Graduate Fog has read thousands of adverts for unpaid internships, and this one raised several questions for us.


In particular the word “assisting” suggested that this person would be doing more than just observing or shadowing (shadowing / observing positions needn’t be paid). Keen to clarify this, we wrote to them:

To: Vice
From: Graduate Fog

Hi there,

I have come across an advert for a ‘Sales administrator – work experience’ to work at Vice:

The role description says:

“You will assist with delivering reports, supporting sales and business development with general account management, responding and building media responses and executing creative mock-ups.”

You also detail experience and qualifications that are necessary.

This sounds a lot like work that should be paid – yet I’m assuming from the fact you’re calling it ‘work experience’ that it is unpaid.

Can you clarify this please? If the role is unpaid, can you explain why you are not offering a salary?

I will be blogging about this in the next day or so, so if you’d like your comment to be included in the story, please send your statement back to me by lunchtime tomorrow.


This email was sent to Vice several days ago, since when we have been disappointed not to hear back from them. So we have passed a screen shot of the advert on to HM Revenue and Customs, in the hope that they will be able to gain some clarity on the exact nature of this position, and whether it should be a paid role, if it is not already.

Do you think this role is more than just work shadowing? What’s the most outrageous job title you’ve ever seen for an unpaid role?

Judge for yourself – see the advert with your own eyes:

Vice advert



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