Business

APCON vows to sanction Sterling Bank over provocative Easter advert

By JOHNMARK UKOKO

The Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) has described a Sterling Bank Plc Easter advertisement in which it compared the resurrection of Jesus Christ with the rising of Agege Bread as “offensive and provocative” adding that the advert copy was not submitted for approval before it was exposed.

This was made known in a statement issued by its Registrar and Chief Executive Officer, Olalekan Fadolapo and made available to The Trumpet, insisting that the advert was distasteful and that Sterling Bank will be sanctioned for the action.

APCON explained that the bank had attracted criticisms in the social media post, as the same copy was sent to the email of the bank’s customers, even as it had been deleted.

The copy had depicted a puffed, golden-brown, half Agege bread with the pay-off line: Like Agege Bread, It Rose Happy Easter.

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It added that most social media users had decried Sterling Bank over the derogatory comparison and the bank had deleted the posts on its social media handles amid the swelling outrage mostly from Christians.

The bank later uploaded another copy of an open tomb significant to Christ’s departure from the grave and added “Let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone.”

But in its reaction, APCON condemned the bank’s action, which it said was blasphemous.

The statement titled: Sterling Bank Agege Bread Easter Advertisement, read: “The Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria has observed with displeasure the insensitive, provocative Easter celebration advertisement by Sterling Bank Plc, which compared the resurrection of Jesus Christ with Agege Bread.

“The distasteful advertisement was neither submitted nor approved for exposure by the Advertising Standards Panel charged with the responsibility of ensuring that advertisements conform with the prevailing laws of the federation, as well as the regulations and code of ethics of advertising in Nigeria.

“APCON will take necessary action to ensure that Sterling Bank is sanctioned for the exposure of such offensive advertisement according to law and that no religious belief or faith is ridiculed or any blasphemous advertisement exposed in any guise,” the statement added.

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