Newsflash, Wed 5 Feb, 4.15pm – the advert has been taken down! No comment from Zilli yet – will keep you posted…

Celebrity chef Aldo Zilli – famous for his empire of Italian restaurants, A-list celebrity customers and, er, appearing on Celebrity Fit Club – is today at the centre of a row about unpaid internships after member of his staff posted a lengthy advert for an “unpaid part time position” at his PR company Zilli Media. We have passed the advert on to HM Revenue and Customs, who have promised to investigate all cases like this and take legal action if necessary.


The advert – which appeared on Gumtree last month and is still live now [Link now dead? See screen grab below] – states that the company is seeking a “media intern” to run their social media across the many restaurants that Zilli Media represents. Despite listing a huge amount of prior experience that is required, and a huge number of “daily tasks” that the successful candidate will be expected to do, the position appears not even to pay expenses – meaning the successful candidate will have to fund their own travel and lunch. Still, they’ll doubtless be thrilled to hear that their work will be “monitored by an experienced account manager” and there is a “possibility” of turning into a paid, full-time position. Wow – thanks, Mr Zilli. The advert states:

Media Agency Intern
Battersea, London
Job type: Permanent

We are looking for a Media intern to join our fast paced team at Zilli Media Ltd. This is an unpaid part time position with possibility of turning into a paid full-time position, depending on your performance. You will be able to learn about the Media, PR and Marketing world within the food industry and will be mentored by an experienced Account Manager.

The intern is expected to have experience with social media on (at least) a personal level (use on a business level preferred). You must be able to think strategically and see how social media fits into a business’ marketing strategy, not just “selling” to our customers, but building long-lasting relationships by providing value to them. Interns must be able to assist in formulating social media plans (once ample information is provided to you), and then carry them out (with our assistance). You must be able to measure and document the impact of social media, and then suggest action-steps to increase impact.

Daily tasks:

Creating new profiles and pages (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.)
Uploading videos, photo albums, etc.
Meeting clients
Press release writing
Photo shooting
Finding users to follow/friend/like our business
Writing and posting blog posts/tweets/updates, etc.
Tracking the growth and the impact of social media on our business
Replying to comments, messages, etc.
Report findings to the team
Consistently learn and grow, ask pertinent questions
Ability to create Twitter feeds

Skills and attributes:

Excellent written and verbal communication, strong editing skills
Be creative with an eye for design
Ability to develop a detailed and professional marketing plan
Knowledge of digital media software — Photoshop or other graphic design software, etc. is preferred
Knowledge of social media — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, blogs, etc.
Willingness to create video blogs, write press releases, and Facebook posts daily
Energy, with a desire to come up with fresh ideas on how to grow our online presence
Ability to identify a target market and “speak” to that consumer through social media
Experience proofreading and editing
Ability to deal with uncertainty
Ability to contribute individually, and participate in cross-functional teams

If you have a passion for Media and think you fit the criteria above then please do not hesitate to send us your CV!

The minimum wage law states that anybody who qualifies as a ‘worker’ must be paid at least the minimum wage law. There are various criteria, including set hours, set responsibilities and doing work that is useful to the employer, which would otherwise need to be done by a paid member of staff if this intern were not there. Although the advert doesn’t state set hours, it appears to tick all the other boxes. We very much hope that HMRC will be able to get to the bottom of what this internship actually involves, and take action if necessary. Graduate Fog approached Zilli Media and Aldo Zilli’s office several times, but they failed to comment.


What do you think of the advert – does it sound like a role that should be paid? Or does the experience – and the ‘possibility’ of full-time, paid work make it a worthwhile opportunity for a graduate, even if they’re working for free?


See the ad with your own eyes:

Zilli 1

Zilli 2

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