withdraws picture, pledges it won’t happen again
The management of FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc, manufacturers of Peak Milk, has apologised to the Christian Association of Nigeria for using the crucifixion of Jesus Christ as a metaphor to promote their product on Good Friday, saying the social media’ advertisement has been withdrawn.
While acknowledging the sensitivity of the social media post “considering the sobriety of the season,” the organisation said it was neither intended to make light of the significance of the season nor to inordinately exploit the unmatched sacrifice of Jesus Christ.”
The Executive Director of FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc (Corporate Affairs), Ore Famurewa, expressed remorse in a letter to the President of CAN, Archbishop Daniel Okoh dated April 10 2023, titled, “Apology for the Good Friday social media post by the Peak Brand”, obtained by the PUNCH on Tuesday morning (4:24 am).
We hereby restate our commitment to our unwavering mission of nurturing Nigeria while maintaining the respect of all religious laws, tenets and guidelines.
“Once again, please accept our deepest apology and pledge to prevent a reoccurrence of such in the future. Do accept the assurances of my esteemed regards”, Famurewa said.
The PUNCH had in a statement by its General Secretary, Joseph Daramola, described the advertisement as “insensitive, offensive, and totally unacceptable.”
While warning all companies and organizations to be mindful of the religious and cultural sensitivities of their customers when promoting their products, CAN said it was considering serious sanctions on the firm, including a boycott of their products by Christians.
The organisation said it would not tolerate any attempt to trivialize or disrespect our faith.
Since the advertisement, there had been a public outcry among Christendom which described it as “blasphemous.”
Daramola said the advertisement was not only disrespectful to the Christian faith but also an affront to the millions of Christians in Nigeria and beyond.
He had said, “Good Friday is a solemn day for Christians all over the world, a day we commemorate the death of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who was crucified on the cross for our sins. It is not a day to be used for crass commercial purposes.
“FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria PLC’s action is not only disrespectful to the Christian faith but also an affront to the millions of Christians in Nigeria and beyond. We are deeply disappointed that a company of such repute would stoop so low to exploit the religious sentiments of its customers for profit.
“We are considering sanctions against FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria PLC, including a boycott of their products by our members and all well-meaning Nigerians who share our concerns. We call on the company to issue an unreserved apology to the Christian community and withdraw the offensive advert immediately.
We recall a similar incident in the past when Sterling Bank Plc used crucifixion imagery to promote their product. We condemned it then, and we condemn it now.
“We, therefore, urge all companies and organisations to be mindful of the religious and cultural sensitivities of their customers when promoting their products. We will not tolerate any attempt to trivialise or disrespect our faith. Be warned!”