For using the crucifixion of Jesus Christ as a metaphor to promote their product on Good Friday, FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc, makers of Peak Milk, has come under fire from the Christian Association of Nigeria, which described the advertisement as “insensitive, offensive, and totally unacceptable.”
While warning all companies and organisations 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 Christian body said it would not tolerate any attempt to trivialise or disrespect its faith.
The advert CAN complained about has the photograph of a dented tin of Peak Milk, punctured in two places, with a nail dripping milk, lying beside it.
It was captioned: Bruised and Pierced for us. #GoodFriday.
CAN, in a statement on Monday by its General Secretary, Joseph 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. Related News
He 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 a 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!”
Efforts to get FrieslandCampina to react were unsuccessful, as the firm’s the Head, Corporate Communications and Sustainability (Sub-Saharan Africa cluster), Nkechi Ejesi could not be reached on the phone.
Also, several phone calls put across to the company’s Marketing Director, Chris Wulff-Caesar, were also rejected, while the firm’s media consultant, Kunle Hamilton, neither answered his calls nor responded to WhatsApp messages sent to his phone