Frijj's 'Win Warren' campaign allowed consumers to 'Win Warren, our work experience boy. He'll do whatever you want him to do", and also allows visitors to download Warren's CV, which lists his GCSE passes: 3Es, 1D and a B in Woodwork.
Although 'Warren' (pictured) is a 24-year-old actor, winners have used him to complete tasks such as washing cars, carrying a woman's handbag and cleaning-up dog mess, with his eight hour days recorded and posted on YouTube.
But Claire Laker-Mansfield, a committee member for campaign group Youth Fight for Jobs told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “The insensitive Dairy Crest ‘slave for a day’ competition in some ways epitomises the attitude of big business and the government towards young people.”
Mansfield added that at a time when around one in five young people are unemployed, “the government’s 'solution' is to force the unemployed
into slave labour and ‘work for your dole’ schemes”. In her view, such a marketing campaign from Dairy Crest will only exacerbate the problem.
Dairy Crest, which also produces brands such as Utterly Butterly and Cathedral City, said it had received three customer complaints for offering Warren's services. But in a statement this morning it said that it intended the campaign to be light hearted, with no offence intended.
Frijj marketing manager Oliver Dickson said: “We are sorry that a minority of people have misunderstood the campaign and taken offence. Frijj is a brand that likes to do things differently and we think that most of our consumers understand this.”
Dairy Crest added that Warren was a paid actor who was not made to do anything “illegal or immoral”, and also stated that the online competition had been their most successful ever marketing campaign with over 180,000 entries.
But the founder of graduate careers advice website Graduate Frog, Tanya de Grunwald, wrote to Dairy Crest on June 15, complaining that "Frijj appears to think that the humiliation of a young worker is funny or entertaining (and you seem confident that your customers will share this view).
"This is made worse by the fact that presumably the goal behind the campaign is to sell more Frijj milkshakes, so in effect Frijj could be seen to be using Warren’s humiliation to boost your profits." Dairy Crest replied apologising for any offence caused.
The ‘Win Warren’ campaign has now ended although the remainder of the campaign will run until June 30th.
'Damaging' unpaid internships
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said recently that unpaid internships in particular were damaging social mobility, especially in the current economic climate. It is estimated that there are around 100,000 interns in the UK at any one time.
Internship organisation, Internocracy, a youth-led enterprise aiming to raise the bar for youth internships, highlighted their concerns over the position of many young people.
A survey of over 2,600 people, conducted by YouGov in February 2011, showed that only 17% of people disagreed with the statement: 'Companies exploit interns as a source of free labour'.