An intern starts working at Zemanta today and we expect another one to join us in a few weeks. Contrary to a disturbing trend, we are paying our interns. They won't get rich by our pay but at least they will be able to afford to go for a date or a weekend trip without begging their parents for some pocket money. I find the idea of unpaid internships revolting and I find it hard to grasp that anybody with at least some moral standards could ever think of employing slave labor (but consequently I don't find it any strange that unpaid internships are the most prevalent in marketing). One cannot learn anything from a company that is so utterly incompetent that they cannot afford to compensate interns for their efforts. And since such companies see no value in interns, they won't bother with providing a decent mentorship either. The intern will probably just slave away on some unimportant task of if (s)he's young and good looking the best (s)he might expect is to become a stuff of inside jokes of some disgruntled employees. I would therefore advice young people to stay away from such sleazy exploitation. There are countless other ways to brush up your CV without spending your summer in some stuffy, boring office.
Good work should be compensated with a decent salary. Anything else is tantamount to slavery, no matter what some "clever" (but basically broke) marketing executive claims.