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
SHARE
THIS



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

Microsoft Says Cannes In Cairns Is Worth Its Salt
  • Media

Microsoft Says Cannes In Cairns Is Worth Its Salt

Cannes in Cairns, presented by Pinterest, is thrilled to announce that none other than Microsoft will be hosting an offsite networking lunch at Cairns’ stunning Salt House restaurant on Thursday the 3rd of February as part of the event’s packed agenda. As a silver partner to the event, Microsoft (who, we’re sure you’ll agree needs […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
DesignCrowd Registers One Million Global Users
  • Media

DesignCrowd Registers One Million Global Users

Creative design marketplace, DesignCrowd, has announced reaching the milestone of one million registered designers on its global platform. The Aussie crowdsourcing start-up currently has a 1,004,000-strong freelance designer network, which has grossed over $A62 million since the company’s 2008 launch. The network have completed over 26 million graphic, logo and web designs for both small […]

The Chiefs & Optus Renew Gaming Partnership
  • Campaigns
  • Technology

The Chiefs & Optus Renew Gaming Partnership

The Chiefs and Optus today announce a partnership extension that will see the brands continue to collaborate around gaming content in Australia for a further 12 months. The news follows a successful 12-month partnership, including members of The Chiefs featuring in Optus’ Gamer Plan launch supporting the development of Optus’ Streaming Booth. Much of the […]

Digital Travel Ad Impressions Up 40% Reports Nielsen Ad Intel
  • Advertising

Digital Travel Ad Impressions Up 40% Reports Nielsen Ad Intel

During the month of October, $A8.5 million was spent in digital travel advertising and digital impressions were up almost 40 per cent from September, according to the Nielsen Ad Intel report. The report found that the top advertisers amongst cruise lines from October in order are Emerald Cruises, Oceania Cruises, and Royal Caribbean. Amongst the […]

IAS Enhances Context Control For Advertisers And Publishers
  • Advertising

IAS Enhances Context Control For Advertisers And Publishers

Integral Ad Science (IAS) announced the expansion of its context control solution for advertisers and publishers globally to give customers more control over the context of digital ad placements. IAS CEO, Lisa Utzschneider (featured image), gave insight into the enhancement, saying: “We first launched context control to help our customers transform their targeting strategies, and […]

Picture of a crowd of people holding and raising rainbow flags, symbol of the homosexual struggle, during a gay demonstration. The rainbow flag, commonly known as the gay pride flag or LGBT pride flag, is a symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) pride and LGBT social movements. Other older uses of rainbow flags include a symbol of peace.
  • Opinion

Where Did All The Rainbow Flags Go?

This adlander muses over brands ditching the rainbow flag. Or, has it merely been usurped by the fossil fuel flag?

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Unruly Launches Content Level Targeting That Enhances Publishers’ CTV and Video Inventory
  • Campaigns
  • Technology

Unruly Launches Content Level Targeting That Enhances Publishers’ CTV and Video Inventory

Programmatic video advertising platform Unruly has introduced content level targeting that standardises attributes across genre and rating segments enabling scaled buying on premium video content. Today Unruly announced the introduction of its content level inventory that segments inventory based on publisher bidstream attributes that mirror linear TV buys, such as genre and rating. The solution […]

Golden Circle Wants Aussies To ‘SmilePay’ This Summer
  • Campaigns

Golden Circle Wants Aussies To ‘SmilePay’ This Summer

Golden Circle is bringing a splash of sunshine to the Australian Summer with the launch of an innovative, SmilePay vending machine. The machine was created by 72andSunny, and software development company, Enabled 2 GO Technologies. It uses existing smile recognition software to recognise an Aussie smile and in return release a complimentary ice-gold Golden Circle fruit drink […]

New Report Says Managers Are Ignoring Employee Mental Health
  • Media

New Report Says Managers Are Ignoring Employee Mental Health

Almost half (49 per cent) of Australia’s marketing, media, and communications employees feel their managers are showing little, if any, concern for their mental wellbeing, a new report has found. The report – conducted on behalf of the Australian College of Applied Professions in October 2021 – surveyed 1000 nationally represented workers and found some […]

Meta Works With Now We Collide To Champion Aussie Small Businesses
  • Campaigns
  • Technology

Meta Works With Now We Collide To Champion Aussie Small Businesses

Meta has partnered with creative agency, Now We Collide to showcase the strength and resilience of small businesses around Australia. The campaign “Good Ideas Deserve To Be Found,” features the stories of four Australian businesses including Singing Magpie (SA), BoardSox (VIC), D-STILL Drinkware (QLD) and Survival Emergency Solutions (NSW). Each story shows how the business […]

Digital Lives of Australians: Cyber Security Fears Keeping People Offline
  • Campaigns
  • Technology

Digital Lives of Australians: Cyber Security Fears Keeping People Offline

The internet is invaluable but cyber security fears are keeping Australians offline. According to new research released today by the .au Domain Administration (auDA), almost 90 per cent of Australians say the Internet has a positive impact on their lives. Moreover, almost all small businesses (98 per cent) depend on the Internet as an invaluable […]