FNB ad debacle

FNB has disallowed public viewing of a number of the YouTube videos that formed part of its recently launched “You can help” advertising campaign.

This is after accusations from the ANC Youth League that the advertisement is a “treacherous attack” on South Africa, and demands from the Young Communist League that the the bank must retract the advertisements.

The ANCYL responded to FNB’s removal of the videos by calling the bank’s actions “cowardly” in a statement, and demanded the release of all the videos.

It specifically named “A speech by Tiara” as among those that must be released to the public, “so that South Africans may engage on this issue from a point of information,” the league said.

FNB’s ambitious advertising campaign riled the ruling party as well with Mail & Guardian reporting that ANC spokesperson Keith Khoza said: “This isn’t an advert – it’s a political statement. An attack on the president, his ministers and government as a whole.”

Questioned about the removal of the videos on its Facebook wall, FNB had the following to say:

We have not pulled the advertising campaign. We have only removed some of the videos from YouTube and our Blog.

FNB is shocked by the allegation of treason levied against it. It is remarkable in its callousness and insensitivity to the children surveyed, who spoke honestly and without fear of reprisal.

With censorship not being an option, the only alternative available to FNB in the face of such serious allegations was to take the responsible decision to withdraw the interview clips for the time being, in the best interest of the children concerned.

Additional reporting by Sapa

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FNB ad debacle