Sydney creative advertising agency Banjo has been forced to apologise after allegedly making a racist remark to a job candidate.
B&T tried to contact Surungi Emily Hohol for comment after she posted on Facebook that “due to being brown and Indian (even though I’m Sri Lankan) and have lived in Australia for 27 years”, she was told by a creative ad agency in Sydney that she would not be suitable for the role “as they already had two other Indian people”.
“Direct quote: ‘the client might be alarmed by having three brown skin people attend a meeting’”, she wrote.
“The injustice of racism – I’m livid and seriously irritated by this.
“Seriously what is wrong with people…”
Banjo issued a statement in response to the allegation.
“In the course of expanding the account management team at Banjo, an unfortunate misunderstanding has occurred during an interview with a candidate, for which Banjo would like to offer an unreserved apology,” the statement said.
“The senior staff member who conducted what was a very positive interview made a casual remark at the end of the interview, which was intended to set the person at ease. Unfortunately it was taken out of context and has since gained some notoriety on social media.
“Needless to say, the Banjo staff member is deeply upset by the incident, which occurred yesterday. There has been a lot of media attention on the issue of equality – including race, gender and sexual orientation, and age – in recent times and we acknowledge that emotions can run high.
“In Banjo’s seven-year history, the agency’s recruitment policy has always encompassed not only hiring the best possible talent, but also ensuring that the staff spans all ages, genders and ethnicities.”
Banjo managing director Andrew Varasdi said the interview feedback hew received from the recruitment company was “very positive” and addressed the possibility for the candidate to explore further opportunities with Banjo.
“Our position on this remains unchanged. When I learned of the situation, I immediately contacted both the candidate and our staff member to offer my empathy and support,” he said.
“We couldn’t possibly deliver on our promise that our clients come first, if our own staff did not reflect the Australian community. We are always prepared to offer our clients the best advice to connect with their customers.”
Mr Varasidi said he had arranged to meet with Ms Hohol this morning “to reassure her of our policies on recruitment”.
“Banjo’s current staff includes 50 per cent women in senior management and 50 per cent women overall, and half of the staff are from ethnic backgrounds including India, Asia, UK and South America,” he said.
“We are extremely proud of the make-up of our talented staff, which is reflective of the diversity of Australia. We hope that we will be judged on our record, and that all candidates who consider joining us at Banjo will do so too.”
Pinterest has introduced a new suite of creator and Pinner products and experiences globally, as the platform continues to evolve to become home for the next generation of creators. At its second annual Pinterest Creators Festival, featuring Megan Thee Stallion and Storm Reid. Pinterest creators Kerin Rose Gold, Wendy’s World, Henri Purnell, Carolina Gelen and […]
Agency Digitas ANZ has developed its own unique brew of beer, galvanizing the team to channel its expertise in data, technology, digital media and creative. The brainchild of senior creative at Digitas, Nick Duron – Digitas’ ‘Unicorn Punch’ comes in alcoholic and non-alcoholic varieties and was created as a means of making Australian and New […]
As Australia prepares to hit its 70 per cent nationwide double vaccination milestone, a new study from Afterpay reveals how Gen Z and Millennials are ready to Press Play on their lives, after 9 in 10 (88 per cent) missed key life events through lockdowns. From hitting restaurants, cafés and pubs and jetting off overseas, […]
New data from Hootsuite and We Are Social reveals that as of June, social media user numbers have jumped by 13 per cent since the same time last year, with the latest data showing an increase of more than half a billion users in just 12 months. The Digital 2021: July Global Statshot report revealed key findings […]
Producers Rodney Rigby and Junkyard Dog Productions have announced that the worldwide smash hit, Tony and Olivier award-winning musical COME FROM AWAY, has reopened at the Capitol Theatre in Sydney. The pandemic led to all theatre shows closing curtains in Sydney, however, with vaccinations rates soaring and restrictions easing, the theatre is back and Sydney […]
Former PMs, high-ranking politicians and climate experts blow the whistle on how Australia became an international climate change pariah in the new Guardian Australia podcast series, Australia v the climate. Guardian Australia will release a special investigative podcast series ahead of the Cop26 global climate summit, scrutinising Australia’s role in the climate crisis over more […]
TBWA\Sydney Group has announced two new key promotions of Nitsa Lotus to chief growth officer and Tanya Vragalis to managing director. In her new role, Lotus will be focused on leading growth initiatives and innovation across each of the agencies within the TBWA\Sydney Group – TBWA, Eleven, Fleishman Hillard, Fabric and Bolt – as well […]
The beauty industry needs to reflect greater diversity both in front and behind the camera, as consumers increasingly align with brands that share their values, according to a panel of leading experts speaking at Are Media’s latest insight series TRENDtalks: Beauty. Hosted by leading Australian beauty expert and presenter Michael Brown, TRENDtalks: Beauty also highlighted […]
Findings from the latest Podsights Benchmark Australian Report shows ARN’s iHeartPodcast Network is a market leader in advertising effectiveness and continues to perform well above global benchmarks. Through its partnership with Podsights, ARN is setting the standard for podcast advertising measurement, providing commercial partners with data-led insights to ensure maximum engagement and conversion with iHeartPodcast […]
Advertising revenue for metropolitan commercial radio stations reached $53.149 million in September, reflecting a year on year rise of 12.7 per cent, according to data compiled by Milton Data and released by industry body Commercial Radio Australia (CRA). September quarter ad revenue totalled $151.373 million, up 16.1 per cent from the corresponding period a year […]
GAMURS Group, the esports and entertainment media network that reaches more than 100 million passionate gamers globally per month, has announced the appointment of Alex Walker as its vice president of content for the Asia Pacific region. Walker joins GAMURS after more than six years at Allure Media and Nine’s Pedestrian Group, where he was […]