Tsingtao Representative Harasses Students Online
WORDS BY EDEN FAITHFULL
A representative from TAO, an Australia-based agency that manages the Tsingtao brand, has posted threatening and abusive comments aimed at students that were critiquing the recently announced Tsingtao-funded refurbishment of Hermann’s Bar.
Yesterday, the University of Sydney Union posted on their Facebook page that they would be closing Hermann’s prior to a refurbishment sponsored by Tsingtao Australia, and many students took the liberty on commenting their disapproval at the list of possible names, included among them ‘Duck Duck Goat’ and ‘Blossoms’.
In response to these criticisms, a member of TAO’s agency, John Le, began replying to students’ comments, and the conversation quickly became heated as he began mocking and harassing the students.
A formal complaint was issued to the USU regarding Le’s behaviour, and this statement was issued to Pulp this morning:
“The USU welcomes open discussion and debate on topics that are important to our community. Few topics are more important that the look, feel and name of our spaces.
This is why we brought the subject of Hermann’s to you and we welcome the variety of opinion that our post generated.
However, we do not condone behavior that is harassing or threatening and unfortunately we saw some of that last night. Disagreement over the name of spaces on campus is as old as the University itself. Debate around those things is healthy. Disrespect of our members is something else again and will not be tolerated.
To this end USU has expressed its outrage to Mr. Le’s superiors, calling for his removal from the project. They have taken immediate action to stand Mr. Le down indefinitely from all USU related responsibilities. They have also offered an unreserved apology to the USU and our members for Mr. Le’s unacceptable behavior.
Our relationship with Tsingtao is an important one and we look forward to continuing working directly with them on this exciting project.
The USU apologises wholeheartedly to any members who were offended by Mr. Le’s posts. We were too, which is why we have taken this action.”
Pulp has confirmed that TAO has taken Mr. Le off the project, and that he will no longer be taking on any USU accounts in the future.