A Nigerian milk brand, Peak, has apologised to the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), for using Jesus Christ’s crucifixion, as an illustration, to promote their product on Good Friday.
The ad campaign featured a dented tin of Peak Milk with two holes next to a large nail, with the tagline “bruised and pierced for us.”
The campaign, which was heavily criticised by Nigerians, particularly Christians, who considered it disrespectful and insensitive, was pulled down after just a few hours.
The Christian Association of Nigeria also expressed its outrage, stating that it was “disrespectful” that the makers of Peak Milk could use such a sensitive and sacred illustration in their advertising. In response to the act, CAN General Secretary, Joseph Daramola described the promotion as “insensitive, offensive, and totally unacceptable”.
He wrote in his statement: “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.”
The apology, which was issued by the parent company, FrieslandCampina WAMCO, reads: “We acknowledge the sensitivity of the social media post considering the sobriety of the season. It was neither intended to make light of the significance of the season nor to inordinately exploit the unmatched sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
“We wish to inform the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) that the social media post has since been withdrawn.”
However, Peak explained that the ad campaign was not intended to offend anyone, but rather to convey the message of resilience and strength that the brand represents.
Reacting to the apology, the Christian Association of Nigeria expressed its appreciation and thanked FrieslandCampina WAMCO for its swift action in addressing the issue.
The incident has sparked a conversation on social media about the need for brands to be more culturally aware and sensitive in their advertising campaigns, especially when dealing with religious symbols and figures. Many have called for stricter regulations to be put in place to prevent such incidents from happening in the future.
While some had related the act to some other occurrences from the past, others had called out to CAN for focusing on trivia matters.
You really think the Peak milk advert on Easter Friday is blasphemy but your dancing to Bro Davidus' latest vulgar tunes as a born-again Christian is a testimony of grace?
Let us please reduce our expectations from the unsaved who are just trying to do business and prioritize pic.twitter.com/x4MIImwZng
— Judah Olorunmaiye (@JudahMaiye) April 11, 2023
I was born a Christian and raised a Christian @PeakMilk don't mind them your brethren have been dying in daily bases, Deborah died you people did nothing till today you want to use peak to show strength shame. I hate hypocrisy.
Uberfact 29th May Oli Oli Abati Yul Edoche pic.twitter.com/gQZuzTaMmO
— BEN Kingsley (@BENKing95965464) April 10, 2023