Fiverr’s Depressing Ad Campaign Will Anger Freelancers Everywhere
Fiverr‘s latest ad campaign is turning heads, but for all the wrong reasons.
The online freelancer marketplace allows users to pay others to do jobs for them, from creating bespoke artwork through to recording custom video messages. However, such is the low cost of almost every available service on the site that scrolling through it makes for a pretty depressing experience, with it showing just how little freelancers and those working in the freelance industry will charge for their talents.
Now Fiverr’s bleak take on online freelancing is even being echoed in its ads, with the company using new posters to suggest that it’s actually a good thing to work yourself to the bone for little pay, calling those who do so “doers.” The new ads, which have been going up across the US, features a gaunt woman with disheveled hair and describes a hellish daily routine. “You eat a coffee for lunch. You follow through on your follow through. Sleep deprivation is your drug of choice,” it reads, concluding: “You might be a doer.”
The suggestion is that those who sacrifice their mental and physical well-being in order to make ends meet are “doers,” and that this is some sort of coveted attribute rather than an awful symptom of declining options for freelancers. Needless to say, the promotional campaign did not go down well online:
The "gig economy" is literally killing us.
— it's B! Cavello 🐝 (@b_cavello) March 9, 2017
But this poster wasn’t the only Fiverr ad to rub people up the wrong way. Another poster, urging readers to “do first. Ask forgiveness later,” was criticized for being inappropriate in the wake of the recent controversy surrounding the site and PewDiePie. The popular YouTube found himself at the center of a media storm earlier this year after posting a video in which he paid two Asian men to hold up a sign reading “death to all Jews.” The controversy saw Disney’s media company Maker Studios dropping him from its roster of YouTubers, while YouTube also cancelled the second season of his reality show Scare PewDiePie.
After the video started gaining traction, Fiverr blocked the men who held up the sign from the site, along with other freelancers who had been featured in the video. Though the company later reinstated their accounts, this seems at adds with the slogan featured on some of the company’s new posters:
remember how pewdiepie used fiverr to do a genocide “joke”? this is fiverr’s new subway ad. pic.twitter.com/DpqWrCDLak
— John Lagomarsino (@johlag) March 1, 2017
Considering the financial struggles faced by freelancers across the globe, these Fiverr ads are remarkably tone deaf when it comes to appealing to those looking for work. That they were green lit by Fiverr in the first place is a very bleak reminder of the failures of the current job market.