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FNB stands ground on ANC advert backlash

By Staff Writer

According to reports, FNB is not going to axe its ‘2013 You can Help’ corporate ad campaign which has been met with much rebuke by the ANC and ANC Youth League (ANCYL).


Bernice Samuels, FNB spokesperson, told Fin24: “No, we are not canning the TV ad.  The TV ad (Kelly Baloyi at Naledi High School) has not been pulled from TV. However, the unscripted clips that were posted on the blog site have been removed.”


Yesterday an ANC spokesperson, Keith Khoza, said that FNB had launched an “attack on the president, his ministers and the government as a whole” for airing a commercial wherein a school girl talks about a hopeful future for South Africa. The ANCYL, meanwhile, called the advert a “treacherous act” and a lame attempt to recreate an Arab Spring of some sort in South Africa".


FNB said it is disappointed with the recent statement by the ANCYL to its 2013 brand campaign, adding that the league misinterpreted its intent. “We also strongly deny that this initiative is a “treacherous act” against the government or the country,” said the bank.


It added: “Our only intention with the campaign is to provide a platform through which we believe, as South Africans, we can use the power of help to make a positive difference in building a stronger, unified, values based nation.


FNB commissioned an independent survey, which highlighted that 70% of the youth are positive about the future of our country. “We undertook this exercise as we strongly believe that the children of South Africa have an important voice and are critical to the country’s future success. Every interview was unscripted and uncensored – they are very much “from the heart” of each child speaking,” said FNB.


“It was not FNB’s intention to attack Government or the ANC but rather to call on every South African in a practical and meaningful way, to play their part in helping to create a better South Africa. We hope that South Africa will embrace this campaign and its intended message of helpfulness,” it added.


Opposition party the Democratic Alliance (DA) said it agreed with the advert. “The DA agrees with FNB’s advert. South Africa faces massive challenges in the form of corruption, ineffective service delivery and harsh poverty. South Africans must unite to combat these challenges. This is not a political message – it is a common sense argument that every patriotic South African instinctively knows to be true. Where we govern, we will do everything in our power to combat these challenges,” said Mmusi Maimane, DA national spokesperson.
 

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