Sterling Bank under fire over ‘distasteful’ Agege bread Easter ad

Sterling Bank Plc is under fire for putting up a post that compared the resurrection of Jesus Christ to the rise of Agege bread on its social media page and subscribers’ mail.

In its Easter celebration messages, the bank shared a post with the quote, “Like Agege Bread, He Rose” across its social media handles, but the message has drawn widespread criticisms from many Christians.

On Sunday, social media users lampooned the bank and described the message as insensitive and insulting to Christians. Many users demanded that the post be brought down immediately and an apology be tendered by the bank.

One user called on the bank to penalise its communications team.

“Unless they are equally complicit, the Management of Sterling Bank should clear its Corporate Comms team on Tuesday,” a respected public relations and communication expert, Chido Nwakamma, wrote on Facebook.

In its reaction to the criticisms, the bank pulled down the post on its social media page and replaced it with an apology.

“…Let he who has never sin cast the first stone,” it posted in a new message, citing Jesus Christ’s response to those who accused a woman of adultery in the Bible.

“Forgive us in the spirit of easter!” It added.

“Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. We humbly celebrate His resurrection, the defeat of death and the hope of salvation.”

Unending Troubles

In its reaction on Monday, the Advertising Practitioner Council of Nigeria (APCON) threatened to take necessary action to ensure that the bank is sanctioned for “the exposure of such offensive advertisement according to law.”

The council also described the advertisement as “distasteful”, adding that it was neither submitted nor approved for exposure by the Advertising Standards Panel, the statutory body charged with the responsibility of ensuring that advertisements conform with prevailing laws.

The council added that it will ensure that no “religious belief or faith is ridiculed or any blasphemous advertisement (is) exposed in any guise.”

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