Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) on Monday threatened to sanction Sterling Bank over the controversial Easter advert to mark the Easter celebration.
The lender had in the advert likened the resurrection of Jesus Christ to Agege bread, a non-branded bread sold by local bakeries and hawked around streets in Nigeria.
“Like Agege Bread, He Rose!,” the advert read.
Sterling Bank is known for its subtle advertisements, one of which caused controversy in 2018, after the bank teased that other lenders are beneath it.
Read also: Sterling Bank scales regulatory hurdle to become a holding company
The latest advert was trailed by criticism on social media.
The lender later apologised to its numerous customers in another advert, quoting John 8:7 verse in the bible.
“Let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone. Forgive us in the spirit of Easter,” the bank wrote.
However, in a reaction posted on APCON Facebook page, the agency’s Registrar and Chief Executive, Olalekan Fadolapo, said the advert was not submitted to the regulator to determine its worthiness for the Nigerian environment.
He described the advert as “insensitive and provocative.”
Fadolapo said: “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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Source: Culled From Ripples Nigeria.