Optus takes out full page ads, apologises for monumental 'balls up'

Josh McDonnell
By Josh McDonnell | 29 June 2018

Optus has apologised, again for its 'balls up', but this time going so far as to take out full-page print ads across both Fairfax and News Corps papers today.

The full-page ads have two versions, one appearing in The Australian Financial Review (AFR) and another in The Australian, the other appearing across News' 'tabloid' titles.

Appearing in the Daily Telegraph, the first statement reads:

"Balls up. Schlamassel. Qué desastre. However you say it, we did it. And we’re sorry.

We’re not going to pretend our delivery of the 2018 FIFA World Cup was anything but a monumental stuff up. We are going to make things better though.

Over the past week, Optus has been dealing with a crisis of service and brand, as its World Cup stream offering suffered multiple outages, being labelled 'floptus'."

CEO Allen Lew announced yesterday that the company had decided to hand over simulcasting rights to SBS for the remainder of the tournament, after continued backlash against the brand.

The ad, a statement from Lew to the Australian public, in The Australian and AFR read:

"Dear Australia,

I’d like to apologise personally, and on behalf of Optus, to you all.

Like you, we are football lovers. Our broadcast of the 2018 FIFA World Cup was to be one of our proudest moments. Unfortunately, we let you down.

Watch the 2018 FIFA World Cup on us.

We can’t undo what happened, but we can try to make amends. So in the spirit of the beautiful game, we are:

Offering access to Optus Sport for free until 31 August 2018 for all Australians.
Sharing the broadcast rights to all remaining matches with SBS.
Now you can all watch the world game in the way that works best for you. It’s the least we can do for the unnecessary disruption and disappointment.

Making things better.

We’re not perfect, but we are big enough to own up to our mistakes. We’ve addressed the problems and our 2018 FIFA World Cup
delivery is now back on track.

Our customers always come first, and we will continue to do all we can to regain your trust and loyalty."

Yesterday Lew said the company went into this World Cup with the intention of pushing "the boundaries of innovation" in Australia by delivering choice to customers.

"We had technical issues with the Optus Sport service over the first weekend of the tournament but we are confident that these issues have now been addressed," he says.

"All of us at Optus will use what we have learned from this experience to place ourselves ahead in the delivery of content to customers via streaming to their mobile devices."

Lew says when entering new broadcast territory, opportunities were as big as the risks.

“Optus will continue to innovate and not waiver from our strategy of being a provider of premium content and the home of elite football in Australia," he added.

SBS will continue to simulcast with Optus until the end of the tournament on 16 Monday.

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