Short Film About Free "Spec Work" Goes Viral, Sparks Worldwide Conversation

TORONTO, Nov. 16, 2015 /CNW/ - One week ago a two-minute film called " Say no to spec"  was released and it's become a viral sensation. The film called into question the common advertising industry practice of creating free "speculative creative" work to win clients in the bidding or "new business" process. The film has amassed over 1.5 million views and generated debate over the value of offering free work to prospective clients.

The video has even struck a nerve with people outside of advertising. Freelancers, contractors, photographers, journalists and a myriad of other professionals have rallied behind the cause using the video's hashtag #SayNoToSpec.

The video features real shopkeepers and professionals being asked for "spec work". Their hilarious reactions illustrate the absurdity of working for free. It was originally created for Strategy Magazine's Agency of the Year competition in Canada. 

Beyond taking a humourous jab at the practice, Zak Mroueh, Zulu Alpha Kilo's founder and the Director of the film, was quoted as saying "There is a much better way to choose an agency partner. Spec work is an antiquated process that dates back to the Mad Men era. It's a cog in the increasingly bureaucratic procurement machine."

Mroueh urges people to share comments using the hashtag #SayNoToSpec and to head over to to join the conversation.  Within 24 hours, he reacted with a thought leadership piece further explaining why spec work is in the end costly to both clients and agencies. 

Some interesting facts:

  • #2 Trending video on YouTube Canada last week
  • #3 most shared content on the Internet within a 24 hour period
  • Over one million views in four days
  • Top story of the day on Pinterest

About Zulu Alpha Kilo:

Zulu Alpha Kilo is based in Toronto, Ontario. Founded in July 2008 by world-renowned Creative Director Zak Mroueh, the agency has a full-time staff of 75 people. Clients include Audi Canada, Bell Canada, Cineplex Entertainment, Interac Association, Labatt Breweries, ParticipACTION, Aequitas Innovations and Workopolis. Everyone in the company belongs to one company-wide creative group, and free-spirited, collaborative ideation is one of the agency's core principles. 

SOURCE Zulu Alpha Kilo Inc.

Video with caption: "VIDEO: Short Film About Free "Spec Work" Goes Viral, Sparks Worldwide Conversation". Video available at:

For further information: Zak Mroueh, Zulu Alpha Kilo Inc., Founder & Chief Creative Officer, 416-777-ZULU (9858),


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