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Telstra has decided not to promote access to “adult oriented content” on BigPond's video download service.

The directive from Telstra CEO David Thodey came after customer complaints over the availability of adult-orientated movies or videos that objectify women.

In an email to staff Thodey said that he agreed with the complainants sentiments, even though the content accessible via BigPond is “mild compared to what’s available on the Internet.”

“The simple answer is that promoting content such as this is just not the Telstra thing to do and we cannot support anything that is sexist or that is inconsistent with our values,” Thodey said.

The decision is notable given that Telstra’s fixed and mobile revenues have benefited from sex and gambling services. It may also pose an interesting fiscal conundrum for its directories arm Sensis, which happily takes advertising from less than family-orientated estblishments.

“We are, in many ways, Australia’s largest family company … Our decision is consistent with our values of respect and diversity,” Thodey said.

He added, “if our customers want to view adult-orientated content on the Internet, they still can. That’s up to them, not us. This decision is not about censorship, but choice and respecting gender equality.” ®

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