Sterling Bank’s Distasteful Easter Advertisement Not APCON Approved

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Advertising regulator, the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) says the distasteful Easter advertisement by Sterling Bank was not submitted for its approval.

The bank in commemoration of the Easter celebration had posted an Easter ad via email and on social media platforms to its customers

The advert showed a golden-brown bread divided into two with the caption ‘Like Agege Bread, He Rose!”

Agege bread is a popular Nigerian confectionery known for its softness, weight and affordability due to size and amount variations.

The advertisement compared the resurrection of Jesus Christ to the local Agege Bread.

APCON in a statement by Olalekan Fadolapo, its registrar/chief executive on Monday, said the ad is distasteful, adding that the bank and its ad agency will be penalised.

The post elicited widespread condemnations from Nigerians on social media which prompted sterling Bank to pull down the post, replacing it with another post, while apologising to its customers.

The new post quoted the Bible verse, John 8:7, “…let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone”. Forgive us in the spirit of Easter.

“Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. We humbly celebrate His resurrection, the defeat of death and the hope of salvation,” the lender added.

However, in its reaction, APCON noted that the financial institution would be sanctioned for the advert.

“The Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) has observed with displeasure the insensitive and provocative Easter celebration advertisement by Sterling Bank Plc which compared the resurrection of Christ with Agege Bread,” APCON stated.

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

“APCON will take necessary actions 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.”

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