Astrological Discrimination

Two days ago the Daily Mail published an article describing an unnamed "Salzburg insurance company" that seems to be practicing a form of astrological discrimination in its hiring. The company is said to have placed this ad in newspapers:

We are looking for people over 20 for part-time jobs in sales and management with the following star signs: Capricorn, Taurus, Aquarius, Aries and Leo.

When accused of discrimination, the company responded: "A statistical study indicated that almost all of our best employees across Austria have one of the five star signs." And a spokeswoman later followed up with this argument: "When an employer considers star signs and says: 'I want to only hire Pisces,' for an example, it must be assumed that within this group of people born under the sign of Pisces there are old and young people, women and women etc. It does appear like a certain limitation, but it is not discrimination."

The story has now begun to appear in other papers and websites, although the Daily Mail appears to be the sole original source. So is there any evidence the story is true? Not that I can find. My German-language skills aren't too good, but I can't find any sign of the story in papers such as the Salzburger Nachrichten.

Journalism Pseudoscience

Posted on Fri Feb 06, 2009


Old and young
women and women???
So men are never born
under pisces?
Posted by Sharruma  on  Fri Feb 06, 2009  at  06:05 PM
I should add a [sic], because that wasn't a typo on my part.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Fri Feb 06, 2009  at  10:19 PM
It is discriminating... against intelligent, educated people.

Intelligent, education people would never apply for a job with a company that tried to enforce that kind of recruitment policy.

Typing while drunk, expect typos!
Posted by Richard@Home  on  Sat Feb 07, 2009  at  05:13 PM

I know German and had a look. Apparently it looks like it was a job ad in the Salzburger Zeitung on february 1st. Several german sites also talk about it.

I could find it on the Salzburger site under the job ads:$_mt6z4y-1e6-e8fj0fu

Fast translation of the text: We are looking for people for a side job in Sales/Management, preverably with following signs: they give six + a phone number.

But no company name and I did not get anywhere with googling the phonenumber.
Posted by Jo  on  Sun Feb 08, 2009  at  01:50 AM
as far as i can tell, the phone number matches a:


Found on Austrian yellow pages:

prehaps a german speaker will have better luck finding more...
Posted by Jake  on  Sun Feb 08, 2009  at  05:21 PM
I wouldn't trust a story in the Daily Mail any more than you'd trust a story from the National Enquirer. It regularly prints urban legends, promotes flying saucers, ghosts, fake medicine, etc.
Posted by Croydon Bob  on  Mon Feb 09, 2009  at  04:24 AM
OK - so one person says there was an an ad. I tried looking through the online paper and couldn't find it, but my German is very sketchy and the site acted very flaky when I connected to it.

But still - was there a STORY in the Salzburger Nachrichten, or any other German language media outlet??

The longer this drags on the more obvious it becomes that this is a prank either pulled on or by the Daily Mail.

Curt Steinmetz
Posted by Curt Steinmetz  on  Wed Feb 11, 2009  at  10:28 AM
the story is (unfortunately) definitely true. I'll mail you all the relevant links (+ translation) shortly.
This caused quite an uproar then in Austria, so there also a few articles with this companies manager defending/justifying their way of recruiting.
Posted by Stiglitz E.  on  Sat Oct 20, 2012  at  06:59 PM
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