The Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria on Monday described as offensive and provocative, an Easter advert by Sterling Bank Plc comparing the resurrection of Christ with the rising of Agege Bread.
APCON also said the advert copy was not submitted for approval before it was made public.
In a statement on Monday signed by its Registrar and Chief Executive, Olalekan Fadolapo, APCON said the advert was distasteful, noting that Sterling Bank Plc would be punished for the action.
The bank, in the now-deleted social media post over the weekend, had attracted criticisms as the same copy was sent to the email of the bank’s customers.
The copy showed a puffed, golden brown, halved Agege Bread with the caption, ‘Like Agege Bread, He Rose… Happy Easter’.
Many social media users had lambasted Sterling Bank Plc over the denigratory comparison and the bank had deleted the posts on its social media handles amid the swelling outrage, mostly by Christians.
The bank subsequently uploaded another copy of an opened tomb significant of Christ’s departure from the grave and added the caption, ‘…let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone.’
Reacting, however, in its statement, APCON condemned the action of the bank which it said was blasphemous.
It read, “The Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria has observed with displeasure the insensitive and provocative Easter celebration advertisement by Sterling Bank Plc which compared the resurrection of Christ with Agege Bread.
“The distasteful advertisement was neither submitted nor approved for exposure by the Advertising Standards Panel, 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.”