The Nigeria Christian Graduate Fellowship has urged the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria to sanction Sterling Bank for its controversial Easter advert.
The General Secretary, NCGF, Philip Nwaegeruo, in a statement, condemned the advert, saying it was a deliberate attack on the affirmation by Jesus Christ as the bread of life.
He said the controversial advertorial was a clear but sad comparison of the reverred resurrection of Jesus Christ to the rising of ‘Agege bread’, a pastry, generally ridiculed by many Lagosians as unhygienic and poorly baked.
Nwaegeruo added, “This vile comparison is not only a denigration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ who is the true saviour of the world, but also a very callous and insensitive media publication, capable of causing disaffection in society,
“Clearly, the advertorial surreptitiously suggests that Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection is like the Agege bread which can neither save nor transform people.
“We condemn this advert in its entirety and consider it as a deliberate attack on the affirmation by Jesus Christ that he is the bread of life.”
“We are seriously concerned about the overt and covert impact of this message on some believers and minors who may be confused by the subliminal advertorial about their faith in Christ, largely because of the far-reaching consequences of the subliminal message and pictorial.”
Nwaegeruo said taking cognizance of the corporate status of Sterling Bank, it should not have entrusted its advertising and public relations program to an advertising agency with little or no respect for religious sensitivities and professionalism.
He stated, “Therefore, without prejudice to the public apology offered by the bank, we urge APCON to take appropriate disciplinary measures against the bank, in line with standard practices and ethics.
“We also call on APAN to take prompt action on this matter. NCGF has taken this position to ensure that these measures would serve as a deterrent to other agencies and corporate organisations.
“Additionally, we will liaise with the apex Christian body, Christian Association of Nigeria and other sister organisations on any other appropriate step to take to avoid a repeat of this type of odious incident.”