FNB cans ad campaign

2013-01-22 08:56

Banking group FNB has pulled videos from an ad campaign following heavy criticism from the ANC and its youth league to its “You can help” brand campaign.

The bank initially gave no official reasons as to why the series of video adverts were pulled, and only that its intentions were misinterpreted, the Mail & Guardian reported.

But later on Talk Radio 702, FNB’s chief marketing officer Bernice Samuels said: “Unfortunately we have decided to take them [the videos] down as the participants are fearing reprisals.”

Samuels said allegations of treason were levelled against the advert’s participants.

The campaign features children reading their hopes for the country.

One of the children reads: “The challenges before us cannot be solved by money, petty politics, protests or violence. All the great things we’ve done, we’ve done by helping each other.”

FNB denied that the statements made by the children in the ads was scripted or edited.

Yesterday evening, ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said the party was appalled by the campaign “in which the ANC, its leadership and government, is under attack on a commercial masqueraded as youth views”.

“What is of concern to the ANC is that the advert content is [an] undisguised political statement that makes random and untested accusations against our government in the name of discourse.”

The ANC Youth League called the campaign “treacherous”.

“FNB, in an obviously lame attempt to recreate an Arab Spring of some sort in South Africa, uses children to make unproven claims of a ‘government rife with corruption’,” spokesperson Khusela Sangoni-Khawe said in a statement.

The banking group responded by saying it never intended to attack government or the ANC, but to call on South Africans to help create a better country.

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