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‘You’re insensitive!’ APCON blows hot, knocks Abubakar Suleiman-led Sterling Bank over distasteful Easter message

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‘You’re insensitive!’ APCON blows hot, knocks Abubakar Suleiman-led Sterling Bank over distasteful Easter message

One of the new generation financial institutions in Nigeria, Sterling Bank, may have stirred the hornet’s nest in an attempt to be creative with an advert campaign to commemorate the internationally celebrated Easter Day.

As it is a common tradition, brands rushed to observe the special Christian celebration by dishing out various creatives in order to align with their customers as they mark the day but seemed Abubakar Suleiman-led was a little over the top.

“Like Agege bread, He rose” the ad read.

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This advert sponsored in some print newspapers in Nigeria has, however, attracted condemnation from some Nigerians particularly Christians on Twitter who said that they considered the piece distasteful.

In reactions across most of the social media, they called out Sterling bank, labeling its message as ‘insensitive’, ‘distasteful’, ‘mockery’, and demanding an immediate apology from the bank.

One of them @olajacs tweeted, “Dear Sterling Bank, it is not funny comparing the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, the basis for our faith as Christians to Agege bread. That’s so insensitive”.

As if that was not enough chastisement for provocative message, the apex regulating body for advert campaigns in Nigeria, the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria, APCON, joined many Nigerians to condemn the distasteful campaign.

The body saddled with promoting responsible and ethical advertising practice, acting as the conscience of society and watchdog for the consumers, disowned the campaign and threatened to sanction the bank for flighting an unapproved ad campaign.

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In a letter titled Sterling Bank Agege Bread Easter Advertisement and seen by Freelanews, APCON claimed the material was neither submitted nor approved for exposure by the Advertising Standard Panel (ASP).

“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.

“The distasteful advertisement was neither submitted nor approved for exposure by the Advertising Standard 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 the law and that no religious belief or faith is ridiculed or any blasphemous advertisement exposed in this guise,” the letter signed by Dr. Olalekan Fadolapo read.

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