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Optus Commercial Breaches Ad Standards

An advertisement by Optus featuring an unsafe forklift operator drew numerous complaints, which were upheld by the Ad Standards Community Panel.

The panel found the ad, which shows a forklift being driven at speed, with the forks far off the ground, breaches the the Australian Association of National Advertisers Code of Ethics.

“A forklift should never be driven in this manner,” read one complaint provided by Ad Standards. “It is extremely dangerous to leave the forks in the air as it could cause an accident. Forks should always be lowered to the ground. This is not how a forklift should be operated for safety reasons.”

Optus initially denied this, saying its legal team followed a Safe Work NSW fact sheet in its portrayal of the forklift.

“As noted, the intention behind the Plant Nursery Advertisement is to provide a visual representation of a business person being in ‘control,’ to link to the concept of businesses being in control of their telco plans with Optus,” the company argued.

“Optus submits that this portion of the ad does not show any practices that would be considered unsafe.”

Despite this, the complaint was upheld, and Optus made several changes to the advertisement.


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