More Troubles For Sterling Bank As APCON Threatens Sanctions Over Their Incredulous Easter Advert
Sterling Bank is yet to know peace after its Easter advert likened the risen Lord to Agege bread!
The incredulous and obnoxious advert which drew the ire of many, especially Christians, literally set the social media on fire, on Sunday, April 17, 2022, as soon as it broke.
From threatening to close their accounts with the bank to the allegations of the bank being anti Christians, the top echelon of the bank sure didn’t find it funny yesterday.
Chief Uche Nworah, the immediate past MD of Anambra Broadcasting Service poured out his displeasure concerning the controversial advert: “This Sterling Bank Easter advertisement is in very bad taste. It’s one of those occasions where creativity in copywriting overrides common sense, cultural and religious sensitivity. The bank should apologise urgently.”
Another communications strategist and PR expert, Mr. Chido Nwakanma, added that “Sterling Bank should remove its corporate comms team…
“Unless they are equally complicit, the Management of Sterling Bank should clear its Corporate Comms team on Tuesday. Everyone involved in preparing and placing that obnoxious ad that pokes noxious fingers into the eyes of all Christians in Nigeria should not be involved in communications one day extra.
“Have you seen the obnoxious and insulting ad? A corporate entity such as Sterling Bank signs off on an ad that compares the basis of the Christian faith to Agege Bread. It is the height of idiocy! It is an offensive joke.
The resurrection of Christ is the foundation of our faith as Christians. Blaze comparisons in the name of creativity are offensive.
Then Sterling Bank worsens the offence by offering a non-apology. The uninformed copy asks us to “Forgive in the Spirit of Easter” but confirms they are not sorry. It states, “Let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone”. Foolishness!
“For our recent errors, we sincerely apologize. We humbly celebrate his resurrection, the defeat of death and the hope of salvation”.
(Please prefer “apologise” with an S for UK English in Nigeria!)
Which dullards did this? Is it because Christians have few bomb-throwers and arsonists? Note that it would be compounding the offence to reproduce the offensive ad.
“Remember that Sterling Bank committed a similar offence in 2018 with its “In shooting for the moon, men become stars” ad. It similarly apologised. Is that the Sterling Bank tradition? Put two feet in the mouth and then say sorry? Not good at all. APCON should check. Did the Advertising Standards Panel approve this ad?”
True to his advice, the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria, the regulatory body for practitioners in the sector, has now waded in. Obviously alarmed by the extreme to which the embattled bank, led by Abubakar Suleiman went in the copy, APCON has promised to take “the necessary actions” over the “offensive advertisement.”
Below is APCON’s full statement: