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Sterling Bank tenders apology over ‘offensive’ Agege Bread advert

Sterling Bank Plc has tendered an apology over an advert that Christian faithful found offensive. In one of its Easter adverts, the bank had compared…

Sterling Bank Plc has tendered an apology over an advert that Christian faithful found offensive.

In one of its Easter adverts, the bank had compared the resurrection of Christ with the rising of “Agege Bread”.

This had sparked fury on Social Media.

The Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) had vowed to sanction the bank over the advert.

In a letter on Monday night, Abubakar Suleiman, Chief Executive of the bank, said the financial institution never intended to offend Christians.

“On behalf of the Management and Staff of Sterling Bank PLC, I write to tender our unreserved apology to you and members of our nation’s Christian community for our Easter message email of 17 April 2022.”

“The content of the infographic and the message it contained was insensitive and failed to consider the very sober nature of the event being commemorated, the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

“While the message had no malicious intent, there is no place for content that fails to fully account for the feelings of billions of people all over the world. Our honest intent was to join our millions of customers in Nigeria and worldwide in celebrating this solemn event, but our execution fell short on this occasion.

“Our policies are clear on what constitutes acceptable customer communication, and this message should not have been released to our customers. On this occasion, our editorial processes fell short of our policy standards.

“As a responsible institution, we immediately withdrew the offensive material and initiated a review of the circumstances that led to this failure. We will further sensitize our workforce to ensure this unfortunate lapse in judgement never repeats itself.

“We thank you for your continued trust in us and apologize again for this unfortunate incident.”

The bank consequently apologized to the public by replacing it with another in a background that symbolized Christ’s departure from the grave, captioned, “…let he who has never sinned throw the first stone. For our recent errors, we sincerely apologize. Forgive us in the spirit of Ester!”