Clarity on scripted FNB campaign claims

Despite claims in a report by The New Age that FNB’s ads in its You Can Help campaign were scripted, the bank maintains that the newspaper got it wrong.

The New Age reported on Tuesday that school children were paid to make negative political statements in the videos used in First National Bank’s (FNB) controversial “You Can Help” advertising campaign,

The paper reported that the videos were scripted and that the children were paid R3500 a day to appear in the videos.

FNB chief marketing officer Bernice Samuels reportedly told the newspaper it was industry standard to pay performers in an advertisement.

Last week, FNB said an independent company had surveyed youth aged 10 to 22 to understand who they were and how they felt about South Africa and its future.

The bank said they were told they could talk freely, without fear or favour, and that “unscripted and uncensored” videos used in the campaign emerged from this process.

However, Samuels reportedly told The New Age that while the casting interviews were “unscripted, uncensored and very much from the heart”, the final advert was scripted and was approved by the bank’s marketing team.

According to The New Age, a call sheet from Take Ten Casting confirmed “the advert was in no way a spontaneous or natural gathering of young South Africans”, but that each participant was “carefully selected”.

FNB met African National Congress leaders, including secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, about the adverts on Thursday, and apologised to the ANC on Friday.

Michael Jordaan responds

Speaking out on social media platform, Twitter, FNB CEO, Michael Jordaan tweeted that the New Age report was confusing the FNB advert with the unscripted, unpaid research material. According to the CEO, the FNB ad was not the subject of the bank’s apology.

MJ repsonse
Michael Jordaan’s response on Twitter

“We did not apologise for FNB Ad itself. We regret brand association with personally insulting research clips,” Jordaan said.

(Story by SAPA, additional reporting by BusinessTech)

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Clarity on scripted FNB campaign claims