7-Eleven Needs To Get A Media Spokesperson, As PR Pros Weigh In On Exploitation Claims

7-Eleven Needs To Get A Media Spokesperson, As PR Pros Weigh In On Exploitation Claims

Convenience store 7-Eleven is facing a company crisis amid claims the franchise severely underpaid a number of workers, and expected them to work twice as long.

According to reports in SBS and the ABC, 7-Eleven is also being wrung out for its treatment of overseas students. The Aussie retail chain was the subject of a joint investigation by Four Corners and Fairfax, with the full investigation expected to air tonight.

The former chairman of the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) Allan Fels said illegal action was the business model of franchises.

“My impression, my strong impression, is that the only way a franchisee can make a go of it in most cases is by underpaying workers, by illegal behaviour,” said Fels, according to the ABC. “I don’t like that kind of model.”

It’s a PR nightmare for the team, so B&T turned to the communication pros in the industry to find out what the franchise should do.

The Short Term

It’s paramount the brand puts a face to its statements, argued Anthony Tregoning, a Fellow at PRIA (Public Relations Institute of Australia).

“The organisation is particularly vulnerable as it has refused to offer media a spokesperson, preferably the CEO, to defend its corporate governance procedures,” he said. “On its website, its media releases are unsigned and unattributed.

“As 7-Eleven is now ‘on its back foot’, it will need to take some radical action to regain the initiative and secure public support.”

The franchise needs to launch a full investigation into the issue to show it’s actually acting on allegations and media coverage, advises many PR pros.

“7-Eleven needs to be seen to be taking immediate action and cancelling agreements with those franchisees proven to be underpaying workers,” said Jackie Crossman, CEO of Crossman Communications.

“It must demonstrate a zero-tolerance strategy if it is to gain any sense of credibility.”

Similalry, director of Agent99 Public Relations, Sharon Zeev Poole, said the brand needs to launch its own investigation, and have a company face and spokesperson to handle the crisis.

“Periodic reports of how this situation has improved shared with media will ensure that 7-Eleven will be seen to be taking the matter seriously and is doing all in its power to eradicate it,” said Zeev Poole.

“Ultimately, it’s about transparency and making sure that staff are being cared for. It can’t just be lip service or a PR spin.”

It would be worth taking some independent expert advice to add further credibility, said James Wright, MD of Red Agency and group chief operating officer for Havas Worldwide Australia.

“They need to look at much more regular and robust processes of how they monitor and check their franchisees,” he advised. “If this is indeed widespread and endemic then the parent company has to be seen to take responsibility for that as ignorance of the problem is no defence.”

The Long Term

7-Eleven in Australia is a privately owned company by the Withers and Barlow family, according to the business’s About Us page, with a licence to operate the chain outside the US-based 7-Eleven franchise.

Crossman suggested the US brand owner of 7-Eleven should step in and “take back ownership of the Australian operation”.

“They will then need to review the franchise agreement to make it sustainable, get rid of stores that aren’t or can’t make a buck, cut loose any that have been rorting workers,” she said.

“The question then is how many stores would be left and is it worth rebuilding.”

Red Agency’s Wright added: “At some point in the near future, they should also look at doing something meaningful in the employment and fair play sector that creates a pathway to a leadership position in the next few years. That may be a way off but as the largest convenience store chain with such a diverse workforce that creates value in our communities, they should be thinking that way.” 

The Company response

Clearly recognising it needed to respond, 7-Eleven in Australia released a statement on Saturday saying it was “extremely disappointed” some of its franchises were not abiding by the law. However, the statement is not attributed to anyone in the company.

“We are deeply concerned about the personal impact on affected employees or former employees, and the damage such actions cause to franchisees who are trusted, reliable and responsible small business owners, meeting their obligations as employers,” said the statement.

“Our business does not condone the action of any franchisee who does not meet their employer obligations, and we do not and will not hesitate to take any appropriate action, under law and within the franchise agreement, where a franchisee is found to be in contravention of the law.”

 




Please login with linkedin to comment

Advertising Standards Bureau Derp Con

Latest News

Tim Tam Delivers AGAIN With Taylor Swift-Themed Biscuits
  • Media

Tim Tam Delivers AGAIN With Taylor Swift-Themed Biscuits

Whoever does the marketing for Tim Tams deserves a raise. The team behind Australia’s favourite biscuit has been hitting it out of the park recently with several on-trend campaigns such as giving Margot Robbie Barbie-themed biscuits.  And now they have delivered another home run ( B&T is unsure why we are using baseball terminology) with […]

Slew Of New Promotions & Hires As Thrive Announces Melbourne Leadership Team
  • Marketing

Slew Of New Promotions & Hires As Thrive Announces Melbourne Leadership Team

Thrive PR Melbourne has kicked off the year with new appointments, promotions and a new leadership team, marking the delivery of a transformation strategy that’s seen the agency diversify and strengthen its corporate, consumer and integrated digital service offering in Victoria. Lead image:  (L-R) – Sophie Maguire, Melanie Campbell, Nathan McGregor, Zoe Raknes, Erika Rutledge, […]

Russel Howcroft & Freddie Young Headline AdMission Podcast
  • Advertising

Russel Howcroft & Freddie Young Headline AdMission Podcast

Iconic Australian ad guru Russel Howcroft and industry up-and-comer Freddie Young from Good One Creative have today launched their experimental, no spin advertising podcast, AdMission, in partnership with 9Podcasts. AdMission tells the uncensored stories behind the world’s most talked about brands, ideas, campaigns, advertising news and industry screw ups, as well as offering sharp insight […]

Image lead story Australian Ethical Launches Evocative New Brand Campaign, Via Paper Moosse
  • Campaigns

Australian Ethical Launches Evocative New Brand Campaign, Via Paper Moosse

Ethical investment firm, Australian Ethical has launched an evocative new brand campaign via B Corp agency Paper Moose. The campaign showcases the positive influence that ethical investing can have on the health of people, planet and animals. The campaign will roll out over BVOD, OOH, digital and social. Brad Bennett, head of client success, Paper Moose: […]

CPR First Aid Study: Weight Loss & Healthy Eating Among Most Googled Personal Goals
  • Marketing

CPR First Aid Study: Weight Loss & Healthy Eating Among Most Googled Personal Goals

According to a new study from CPR First Aid has revealed that Aussies’ most Googled personal goal in the summer is losing weight, new research has found. Their next most researched summer objective is healthy eating, followed by drinking more water. This time of the year, Aussies want to stop snoring and quit smoking more […]

Leading Aussie Creators Alright Hey & Starr McGowan To Host Annual AiMCO Awards, With Platinum Sponsor TikTok For Business
  • Media

Leading Aussie Creators Alright Hey & Starr McGowan To Host Annual AiMCO Awards, With Platinum Sponsor TikTok For Business

The Australian Influencer Marketing Council (AiMCO) has today announced popular Australian content creators, Alright Hey and Starr McGowan, will host the 2023 AiMCO Awards, with platinum sponsor TikTok for Business. Lead image: Alright Hey & Starr McGowan The annual awards, which are set to be held at Sydney’s Doltone House on February 29, recognise the […]

NRL Heartthrob Reece Walsh Stars In New Musashi In New Campaign By JOY
  • Campaigns

NRL Heartthrob Reece Walsh Stars In New Musashi In New Campaign By JOY

A new campaign from Australia’s number one sports nutrition brand, Musashi, captures the emotion, intensity and self-reflection on GAME DAY, featuring some of the country’s most exciting, emerging sporting talent. Devised by leading independent agency JOY, the campaign creative is inspired by the power of the moment just before an athlete steps out onto the […]

Nutella & Pizza Hut Partner To Launch Huge New Menu Item Via WiredCo.
  • Campaigns

Nutella & Pizza Hut Partner To Launch Huge New Menu Item Via WiredCo.

Picture this. A freshly baked, deliciously gooey and irresistible 8-in-1 giant vanilla cookie, served warm. Now imagine a delectable drizzle of hazelnut spread, NUTELLA on top. No further imagination is needed as Pizza Hut has launched its brand-new Loaded Cookie with NUTELLA this Thursday, 22nd February, set to become an Aussie favourite in their 270 […]

Social Soup Nabs Jess Hope From EssencceMediacom
  • Marketing

Social Soup Nabs Jess Hope From EssencceMediacom

Social Soup has announced the appointment of Jess Hope to the newly created role of head of growth and Innovation, effective immediately. Lead image: L-R – Sharyn Smith and Jess Hope With over 15 years of social, creative and content marketing experience, Jess has spent her career immersed in entertainment, music, publishing and advertising. Having […]

Spotlight On Sponsors: Canberra Raiders Have Rocky Relationship With Finals Footy But Maintain The Gold Standard When It Comes To Partnerships
  • Marketing

Spotlight On Sponsors: Canberra Raiders Have Rocky Relationship With Finals Footy But Maintain The Gold Standard When It Comes To Partnerships

The Canberra Raiders just snuck into the top eight last year, appearing in the finals for the first time since 2014. But while the Raider’s relationship with finals footy is rocky at best, their sponsorship is anything but. Welcome back to B&T’s Spotlight on Sponsors series, where we unpack all the major sponsorship news from each NRL and AFL team in […]

Twilio: Customer Data Platforms Are “Critical Foundation” For AI-Driven Customer Insights
  • Technology

Twilio: Customer Data Platforms Are “Critical Foundation” For AI-Driven Customer Insights

Businesses are integrating customer data platforms with AI and analytics to personalise customer experiences and drive business success, according to a new report from Twilio Segment. Lead image: Kathryn Murphy, SVP of product and design, Twilio. The fifth annual Customer Data Platform Report, which reflects the findings of anonymised usage data from Twilio Segment’s more […]

Spotlight On Sponsors: Western Bulldogs Remain Focussed On Supporting Local Communities After Inconsistent 2023 Season
  • Marketing

Spotlight On Sponsors: Western Bulldogs Remain Focussed On Supporting Local Communities After Inconsistent 2023 Season

The Western Bulldogs remained in contention to take the top prize right through the 2023 season despite inconsistent results but ultimately missed out on the finals series for the first time since 2018. Welcome back to B&T’s Spotlight on Sponsors series, where we unpack all the major sponsorship news from each NRL and AFL team in the lead-up to the […]

Guardian Nabs Charlotte Byrne From Schwartz Media
  • Media

Guardian Nabs Charlotte Byrne From Schwartz Media

Guardian Australia has recruited a new partnerships manager, Charlotte Byrne, following a push for strategic content collaborations with major advertisers. Byrnes will join Guardian Australia as partnerships manager from Schwartz Media team, where she was previously responsible for leading and developing the sales team across direct, agency and media partnerships. Guardian Australia is a free […]

Word of Mouth Digital Welcomes Six New Brands To Its Growing Portfolio
  • Marketing

Word of Mouth Digital Welcomes Six New Brands To Its Growing Portfolio

Word of Mouth Digital, a Sydney-based full-service digital marketing agency, has announced the addition of six diverse brands to its expanding client portfolio. Lead image: Alex and Tash Williams These new partnerships span various sectors, including pet care, cognitive health, home construction, wellness, and retail, showcasing the agency’s commitment to fostering growth through strategic collaboration […]

Carat Perth’s Michelle Testa To Chair Oasis Committee In Support Of Salvos
  • Advertising

Carat Perth’s Michelle Testa To Chair Oasis Committee In Support Of Salvos

Carat Perth client partner Michelle Testa (pictured) has been named as the new chair of the Oasis Committee with a remit to deliver continued financial support to The Salvation Army on behalf of the WA Advertising and Communications industry. Testa, who takes on the chair has been a member of the Oasis Committee for several […]