Australian Firm Pulls Ad Encouraging ‘Anglo Saxon’ People To Apply

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The ad for an Optus store said that "Anglo Saxon" applicants were preferable. But once the ad was spotted by Twitter users, the company quickly took it down.

Australian telecommunications company Optus is under fire after one of its stores put up an ad in search of workers and added that “Anglo Saxon” individuals were preferred.

The racist ad got a great deal of attention on Twitter after user Catherine Snelson saw it when it went live on Thursday, prompting the company to press the store to remove the ad from the employment portal Seek. Now, the telecommunications giant is investigating the case, saying that everyone involved with launching that ad have faced disciplinary action.

According to ABC News, Optus vice-president of human resources Vaughan Paul said that the company had acted immediately upon hearing about the ad and was taking the matter seriously.

“This incident is unacceptable and does not reflect Optus' values of diversity and inclusion," Paul said. "This error [is] a clear breach of our advertising standards and commitment to equal opportunity employment. Optus proudly supports diversity and employs staff representing more than 70 nationalities."

On Twitter, the company replied to Snelson and another user, Edward Miller, who had also complained about the ad.

After Optus said it would launch an investigation, the union representing its workers, Communications Workers Union, said they wanted to see an independent investigation into this incident.

CWU spokesperson Greg Rayner condemned Optus for saying that white applicants would be preferable.

"It's looking to exclude certain individuals from even applying for a job based on their ethnicity,” Rayner said. “It's unbelievable in this day and age that an ad such as this would even see the light of day. It shouldn't be happening, it's ridiculous."

We agree.

It’s incredible to think that such a large company would be discriminating against minorities so openly. Hopefully, the independent investigation into this incident will help determine whether other Optus stores are engaged in the same shameful behavior.

Banner and thumbnail image credit: Flickr user Tama Leaver

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