Fibs: Bank’s ‘little white lies’ contest raises eyebrows

2013-01-30 00:00

TELL your boss an inspired white lie and the best fibber can win a few thousand rand — compliments of Absa.

This is the gist of an advert for free airtime that aired on SABC radio stations from Monday.

The radio host asks callers what “white lies” they would tell their bosses to explain why they were an hour late for work.

The winning fibber stands to win R3 000, with a bonus of R1 000 if he or she is an Absa client. Sister paper Beeld wanted to know from Absa and Radio Sonder Grense, one of the broadcasters, how they could justify such a competition in a country where corruption and lies have become endemic.

Absa responded that one of their business units sponsored a three-week-long promotion. The thinking behind it was to introduce humour on air by asking listeners to come up with white lies. Absa said it did not tolerate misrepresentations, illegal or corrupt practices.

RSG station manager Magdaleen Kruger referred the question to the SABC’s corporate office, saying it was marketing by a client. The corporate office on Monday asked for another day to react, but had not done so by yesterday.

In yesterday’s competition, listeners were asked to call in with a fib that would convince their grandmas to lend out her dentures.

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