This week Danish/American alt-pop duo Ex Cops,, found themselves in a spot many people who chase a career in the creative arts find themselves in. The duo were offered a place on a SXSW showcase that promised no pay but offered “a great opportunity for additional exposure” and “help with cross promotion”. The reason for this metaphysical payment scheme as opposed to the standard of actually paying an artist is just like the other million places that offer up positions like these, that “there isn’t a budget for an artist fee”. However, unlike the no-name zines or DIY venues that often advertise these voluntary positions, this offer came directly from global fast food phenomenon McDonald’s.

Yes, the company most highly associated with the term ‘globalisation’ and recipients of $5.59 billion in net income during 2013 alone sent out emails to several bands already on the SxSW line-up asking them to take part in their McDonald’s showcase. Unfortunately for the 70-year old company, Ex Cops felt more than a bit abhorred by the offer to work for literally nothing. Brian Harding, one-half of the band, penned an open letter to the company via the bands facebook page and any artists pondering taking the deal the company has sent off. During this letter, he takes shots at the company for stating they have no artist budget while smaller businesses involved with the festival have offered fair compensation for their work.

Since the letter was released, the company has responded to the allegations against it in the most hardheaded manner possible: via tweet. The company’s global media relations director Becca Hary posted the following in a now deleted tweet once the letter went viral: “We follow the same standard protocol as other brands and sponsors by inviting talented and emerging musicians to join us at the SXSW Festival. We look forward to serving McDonald’s food, drinks and fun in Austin. #slownewsday”. Since then the second half of the duo, Amalie Brunn, has refuted the company, stating “They’re not following any guidelines because everyone else is offering money.” To voice your concerns about the issue regarding lack of artist compensation, simply distill your thoughts on the matter into 140 characters and post using the hashtag #slownewsday.