Sainsbury’s has been forced to apologise after its Camden store advertised for an artist to voluntarily redesign its canteen.
A copy of the advert, which appeared in a local newspaper, was posted on Twitter and immediately attracted a storm of protest.
The advert stated that ‘Sainsbury’s are looking for a creative and an ambitious artist to voluntarily refurbish our canteen’, adding that this opportunity would provide creative industry experience. The aim of the design would be to create a relaxing environment for hardworking staff members: ‘Happy colleagues offer great service and continued success,’ continued the advert. ‘Your work will contribute to our success.’
The reaction on social media has been unforgiving, with the supermarket chain becoming the butt of numerous jokes.
Artist Suzanna Raymond @Srfirehorseart wrote:
It seems that Sainsbury’s is getting lots of free ‘exposure’ today for asking local artists “voluntarily”, aka… https://t.co/wrAvwV3TDU
— Suzanna Raymond (@SRfirehorseart) May 13, 2016
Calling out the double standards of the request, prop maker and scenic carpenter Rosheen McNamee @RosheenMcNamee tweeted:
The rumpus infiltrated Sainsbury’s other messaging as Organ’zine @OrganMagazine jokingly replied to one of the company’s tweets about it being National Doughnut week with:
Offering a potential way out, Hull’s No1 socialite @ArichT66 tweeted:
Can I suggest @sainsburys now need to commision (pay) a group of artists across the country to improve their stores. Only way to save face.
— Hull’s No1 Socialite (@ARichT66) May 13, 2016
Putting it down to the independent actions of a ‘rogue store’, a Sainsbury’s spokesperson said: “We’re discussing this with our store in Camden.
“The advert was placed in the local paper following a colleague discussion around ways to improve the canteen and offer an opportunity to the local community. It is not our policy to hire volunteers and we are sorry for this error of judgement.”
Read a-n Executive Director Jeanie Scott’s response – Sainsbury’s ‘opportunity’: ludicrous, misguided and all too common
1. The Sainsbury’s advert as shared on social media