The management of FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc., manufacturers of Peak Milk, has apologized to the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) for using promoting their product using an advertisement that symbolically compares the puncturing of Peak Milk tin can to the crucifixion of Jesus.
The social media post, which was released on Good Friday, has been withdrawn by the company as it sparked a lot of controversial reactions, especially among Christians.
WAMCO Nigeria Plc. said in their official apology that while they understand the sensitivity of the advertisement, they had no intention of mocking or making little of the unmatched sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
In a letter dated April 10 2023, and entitled, “Apology for the Good Friday social media post by the Peak Brand”, Ore Famurewa, Executive Director of FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc. (Corporate Affairs), expressed his remorse over the advert to the President of CAN, Archbishop Daniel Okoh.
The letter, which was made available to the Press, read: “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.”
The advert was even described by the General Secretary of the corporation, Joseph Daramola, as “insensitive, offensive, and totally unacceptable.”
The CAN had warned all commercial firms to be mindful of the religious and cultural inclinations of others while making their advertisements, adding that it would not tolerate any attempt to insult or belittle the religious beliefs of Christians.
The Christian body even talked about issuing a prohibition among Christians to cut any ties with the Peak Milk company.
Daramola had also agreed that the advertisement was both insensitive and insulting to the millions of Christians in Nigeria, as many have termed it “blasphemous.”
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!”