Mediclinic came up with a cheap way to decorate a hospital - but now there's an angry backlash

Business Insider SA
(Facebook, Robbie Aspeling)
  • Mediclinic has been accused of exploitation after it asked photographers to submit photos for its new hospital in Stellenbosch for free.
  • The hospital group called it a competition, but said photographers would only be credited and not remunerated.
  • Mediclinic has since apologised, and cancelled the competition.

Mediclinic caused a social media uproar when it asked photographers to take photos for its newly constructed Stellenbosch hospital for free.

In an advert, the hospital group said photographers should submit their high-resolution images a part of a competition to decorate the hospital.

It said a minimum of 15 images should be submitted under the themes of “reflections”, “vineyards”, “olive grove” and “dusted moss”.

“A curated panel will select the best images, which will be printed and displayed,” the advert read.

“Photographers will be credited for their images, but not remunerated.”

The "competition" caused widespread social media outrage, with some users calling for an overall boycott of Mediclinic.

An angry Facebook post by photographer Robbie Aspeling has been shared over 110 times.

“I would like to be treated for free, I’ll just credit them,” Saawmiet Moos commented on Aspeling’s post.

John Tee said he wonders if the curated panel who selects the photos, the printers and the framers will be credited for their work but not remunerated.

Mediclinic has since apologised and removed the advert, calling it an “internal procedural oversight that led to the situation”.

It also cancelled the competition.

“Mediclinic sincerely apologises for the insensitive internal oversight of the competition terms and the unintended professional insult and/or hurt caused by the proposed terms,” Mediclinic said in a statement.

“At Mediclinic we respect the talent and creative contribution of all the creative disciplines and the important role they play in the areas of media, corporate positioning and fine arts.”

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