Peak Milk manufacturer FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc has apologized to the Christian Association of Nigeria for using the crucifixion of Jesus Christ as a metaphor to market their product on Good Friday, stating that the social media advertisement has been removed.
While acknowledging the sensitivity of the social media post “considering the sobriety of the season,” the organization stated that it was not intended to minimize the significance of the season or to overly exploit Jesus Christ’s unmatched sacrifice.
Ore Famurewa, Executive Director of FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc (Corporate Affairs), expressed regret in a letter to CAN President Archbishop Daniel Okoh dated April 10, 2023, captioned, “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.
WAMCO slammed the commercial as “insensitive, offensive, and totally unacceptable” in a statement provided to The PUNCH by its General Secretary, Joseph Daramola.
While encouraging all companies and organizations to be sensitive of their consumers’ religious and cultural sensitivity while promoting their products, CAN stated it was considering significant sanctions against the corporation, including a Christian boycott of their products.
The organization stated that any attempt to trivialize or denigrate our faith would be met with a resounding rebuke. Since the advertisement, there has been a widespread outrage from Christians, who have labeled it “blasphemous.”
Daramola claimed that the advertising was not only disrespectful to the Christian faith, but also an insult to the millions of Christians in Nigeria and around the world.
“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,” he had stated. It is not a day to be exploited for obnoxious commercial goals.
“The action of FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria PLC is not only disrespectful to the Christian faith, but also an affront to the millions of Christians in Nigeria and around the world.” We are profoundly shocked that a corporation of such repute would sink so low to profit off its clients’ religious sensitivities.
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“Our members and all well-meaning Nigerians who share our concerns are considering sanctions against FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria PLC, including a boycott of their products.”
“We recall a similar incident in the past when Sterling Bank Plc promoted their product using crucifixion imagery.” We condemned it then, and we condemn it now.
“We therefore urge all companies and organizations 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!”