Energy Watch founder in fresh controversy over making racist remarks on Facebook
Thursday, April 5, 2012/
Entrepreneur and Melbourne Football Club sponsor Ben Polis is being probed by his beloved football club after making racist remarks on Facebook.
The move comes after Polis’ company Energy Watch was targeted by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission last year over alleged misleading and deceptive conduct.
The incident is a reminder to both employers and employees that remarks made on private Facebook pages can still be made public.
Both Energy Watch and the Melbourne Football Club were contacted this morning, although neither could reply prior to publication.
As reported by the Herald Sun, Polis is now having his relationships with the Melbourne Rebels and Melbourne Victory reviewed after he made racist and inappropriate remarks on his Facebook page.
It is understood the insults have targeted one Melbourne indigenous player, Liam Jurrah, while also making remarks against Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
Some of the allegations include Polis insulting customers who signed up to his company on Christmas Day and insulting people of Asian descent.
“The club is extremely concerned with these allegations. We have commenced a full investigation,” the board said in a statement.
However, he’s defended his actions to the Herald Sun, saying the comments were not racist, although some may have been inappropriate.
“Are my comments pushing the envelope or construed to get reactions out of people? Well, obviously they are. People who know me know I push people’s buttons all the time.”
This incident comes after the ACCC sought an injunction against Energy Watch and Polis last year, alleging the company made false or misleading representations in advertising.
The competition watchdog alleged that although Energy Watch claimed to compare rates across all retailers, it actually worked with preferred suppliers to secure low rates.
Polis told SmartCompany at the time the allegations were “100% not true”.