APCON threatens Sterling Bank with sanctions over Agege Bread ad

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The Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) on Monday threatened to sanction Sterling Bank over the controversial Easter advertisement to mark the celebration of Easter.

The lender had in the ad compared the resurrection of Jesus Christ to Agege bread, an unbranded bread sold by local bakeries and peddled on the streets of Nigeria.

“Like Agege Bread, he got up!” the ad read.

Sterling Bank is known for its subtle adverts, one of which sparked controversy in 2018 after the bank teased that other lenders were undercutting it.

Also read: Sterling Bank clears regulatory hurdle to become a holding company

The latest announcement was followed by criticism on social media.

The lender later apologized to its many customers in another advertisement, citing the Bible verse John 8:7.

“Let him who has never sinned cast the first stone. Forgive us in the spirit of Easter,” the bank wrote.

However, in a reaction posted on APCON’s Facebook page, the agency’s Registrar and Managing Director, Olalekan Fadolapo, said the announcement had not been submitted to the regulator to determine its relevance to the Nigerian environment. .

He described the ad as “insensitive and provocative”.

Fadolapo said: “The Nasty Advertisement has not been submitted or approved for display by the Advertising Standards Panel (ASP), the statutory panel responsible for ensuring advertisements comply with applicable laws of the federation as well as to the Advertising Code of Ethics in Nigeria.

“APCON will take the necessary steps to ensure that Sterling Bank is sanctioned for the display of such offensive advertising in accordance with the law and that no religious creed or faith is ridiculed or blasphemous advertising is exhibited in any form.”

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