That is the question.
Personally I’ve rarely been able to make a tangible stand on this. I’d like to say otherwise.
Free pitching above your weight is hard to avoid in the early days: exposure to potentially valuable experience is just useful. And many agencies don’t bat an eye at unpaid work-experience these days – kinda the same thing for graduates? I often work for nothing if it feels important enough – do it all the time. But that’s different.
Being asked to do ‘sale or return’ creative is pretty crap unless it creates access to something or someone new/useful/insightful/…wealthy.
I’ll give a little of my time and see what happens. Let’s call it a fee-neutral approach.