Optus pulls Arabic advertising poster from shopping mall in the wake of threats to staff

Optus has been forced to pull an outdoor poster at a shopping mall written in Arabic after threats were made to staff.

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 5.08.04 PMThe poster at Casula Mall, which tells customers there are Arabic speaking staff members in store, has prompted an outpouring of anger from some saying it was offensive in the wake of the Paris terror attacks.

However, Optus has since been flooded with messages of support on its Facebook page praising the telco for its support for multiculturalism.

A spokesperson for Optus confirmed that the ad had been removed for the safety of staff.

“Yesterday following a threat to our store staff, we made the decision to remove some materials that were published in Arabic. The safety and security of our staff is paramount,” said the spokesperson.

“Optus’ customers and staff come from a range of backgrounds and speak many different languages. In some communities we actively promote the bi-lingual skills of our front line staff. We recognise that sometimes customers find it easier to understand the detail of a phone plan when it’s explained in their first language. Optus remains committed to minimising and eliminating discrimination through our corporate culture, marketing activities, employment practices and interactions with the community.”

Supporters of the brand too to Facebook to say they were ashamed of the racists posts.

I was so disappointed to read the criticism of your multi language adverts but also so happy to read your response. We all need to stand together in these trying times and keep doing what we do so well, being good, welcoming, open minded Aussies, and practicing the golden rule,” one supporter on Facebook said.

Simon Canning


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