FrieslandCampina WAMCO Plc, manufacturers of the iconic milk brand, Peak Milk have apologised to the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, over a controversial advert published on it’s social media handles during the Easter period.
In a letter addressed to CAN, dated April 10, the company’s Executive Director of Corporate Affairs Ore Famurewa said the advert was not meant to undermine the significance of the Easter season to Christians.
He also noted that the social media post had been withdrawn following public outcry against it.
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) had threatened to boycott the company’s products over the advert, which it described as disrespectful of the Christian faith.
The apology letter read thus, “We hereby restate our commitment to 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 recurrence of such in the future. Do accept the assurances of my esteemed regards,” he noted.
On Good Friday, the company shared an image of a dented Peak milk can, captured alongside a nail with the caption “bruised and pierced for us,” representing the crucifixion of Christ via its Twitter handle.
Reacting to the advert, CAN threatened to boycott Peak milk and other FrieslandCampina products, describing the image as disrespectful to the Christian faith.
The Christian association also alleged that the company was exploiting the religious sentiments of its customers for profit.
“We call on the company to issue an unreserved apology to the Christian community and withdraw the offensive advert immediately,” CAN General Secretary Joseph Daramola noted in a statement on Monday, April 10.
Daramola also extended the warning to other companies, urging them to be mindful of the religious and cultural leanings of their customers while creating adverts.
In April 2022, Sterling bank published a similarly controversial Easter advert which attracted criticism from the Christian community.
The Sterling bank advert featured an image of fresh baked bread with the caption: ‘Like Agege bread, he rose’.
CAN had condemned the advert, describing it as hostile to the Christian faith.
Sterling Bank pulled down the advert following public criticism, and tendered an apology.