Monday, January 21, 2013

News National ANC tears into FNB over 'political statement'

- - - - - - 21 JAN 2013 06:00 - NICKOLAUS BAUER First National Bank's adverts calling for change in SA has been slammed by the ANC, with its youth league saying the campaign bordered on treason. OUR COVERAGE Zuma payments: Of battleships and Nkandla FNB: We couldn't have given Zuma a bond for Nkandla FNB shakes up sharia division MORE COVERAGE NGO claims some schools still without textbooks "This isn’t an advert – it's a political statement. An attack on the president, his ministers and government as a whole," ANC spokesperson Keith Khoza told the Mail & Guardian on Sunday. FNB launched their You can help brand campaign in Soweto last week through a series of online videos, in which a number of South African youths shared their views on the country. The majority of contributors illustrated South Africa’s challenges from unemployment to high rates of crime. “South African people need to wake up – 1994 is gone! It is gone!," Christopher – one of the participants – said in a video. “This very minute South Africa faces unemployment, poverty and nationwide strikes, and a government rife with corruption.” Along with their views, participants also offered ideas on solutions for South Africa. “Stop voting for the same government in hopes for change – instead change your hopes to a government that has the same hopes as us,” said Tiara, another participant. Some of the messages also decried the use of government money to upgrade President Jacob Zuma’s private residence in Nkandla and the Limpopo textbook scandal where some pupils were left without work books and textbooks for the majority of 2012. 'Inspired' FNB said the campaign was a message that would “inspire the nation". "The intention of the campaign is not to talk about ourselves, but rather to be a brand for betterment by providing the youth of our country with a stage to voice what impacts the daily reality of many South Africans," said Bernice Samuels, chief marketing officer of FNB. “Perhaps it's time for us to listen to the voices we seldom hear, the youth of our country, because it is the South Africa we build today that will be the country they will inherit tomorrow.” But the governing party said the campaign was unfair and unpatriotic. "FNB is unfairly using children to articulate a view that we don’t even know for sure is their own," Khoza said. “Young people don’t necessarily understand the challenges of governance and undoing 250 years of oppression and colonialism.” Khoza added the series of adverts were “disingenuous” and did nothing to highlight some of government’s successes since 1994. “They have drawn a line on how they view the government. They have chosen to attack the state instead of working together to solve the country’s problems,” he said. Treason Khoza’s comments were bolstered by the ANC Youth League, which said the campaign “declares war on the democratically elected government of South Africa". "Business has been provided many opportunities to raise issues with the ANC but to do this on a public platform in such a manner is treacherous and borders on treason,” league spokesperson Khusela Sangoni-Khawe told the M&G. Sangoni-Khawe also accused FNB of providing the participants with their content. “How are we to know if what they are saying is what they truly feel? They [FNB] could have paid them to say those things,” she said. The ANC and its youth league are not the only ones to find the campaign controversial. Stiwe Chireka, communication specialist at the International Data Corporation, said the series had a “strong message” but an “unclear purpose”. “There is a disconnect between the advert and what FNB is normally about, so it leads the assumption that it is not strictly an advert or marketing campaign - I don’t even think this would have been flighted if it were a series of TV commercials,” Chireka told the M&G. 'Scripted' Chireka’s views were echoed by communications strategist Sarah Britten. "It fails to achieve its supposed goal by leaving people hanging as you are not left with any idea of how you can actually help the country. And the ads felt quite scripted too," she said. "More common sense could have been applied with regards to the content in this campaign. Using schoolchildren as proxies for corporate communication is problematic," Britten added. In response to the campaign, the ANC intended to engage FNB to “find out what its true purpose is", Khoza said. "This is not assisting this country. People are allowed to raise their opinions, but a bank using children to articulate a controversial standpoint such as this is wrong,” he added. Mail & Guardian - - - - - COMMENTS BY SONNY - - - The ANCYL and ANC corruption and violence borders on terrorism and treason. What happened to freedom of speech or Democracy in SA for that matter? We the people of South African say - away with the ANC and all their corruption, crime and dirty politics. THE ANC SHOULD BE PUT ON TRIAL IN THE WORLD COURT FOR HUMAN ABUSES.

1 comment:


    FNB head Jordaan refutes resignation rumours
    26 JAN 2013 15:25 - SAPA

    Despite wide-spread speculation FNB CEO Michael Jordaan will not be resigning after the "You Can Help" campaign sparked national comment.


    Opinion: FNB's role in Nkandla undermines their campaign

    FNB folds under ANC's harsh criticism
    ANC tears into FNB over 'political statement'

    "I am not resigning as CEO [of] the most innovative bank in the world." Jordaan tweeted on Friday morning.

    He was responding to a report on Moneyweb that he was resigning after two independent sources close to First National Bank (FNB) said they were informed of Jordaan's plans to leave the bank by the end of the year.

    On his Twitter page Jordaan posted a Moneyweb article about his resignation and commented that it was speculation.

    However, Twitter users tweeted about the resignation, FNB apologising to the ANC and the campaign.

    Ambassador to Argentina and former Democratic Alliance leader Tony Leon tweeted: "The ANC must be laughing all the way to the bank."

    City Press Editor Ferial Haffajee tweeted: "I wonder when we who get bullied say so far and no more? Not a good feeling at all."

    Journalist Philip de Wet tweeted: "ANC: 3 to 0 and the games are getting shorter. Goodman Gallery put up a real fight, City Press expressed duress. FNB just crumbled."

    While DA leader Helen Zille tweeted: "Saying that #FNB caved in order to protect the kids in the advert is a more devastating statement on the ANC govt than anything the ad said."

    Twitter user Dries Lombaard tweeted: "If I banked at #FNB I would have closed my account today. No guts to bring a message of hope. IPads cannot buy integrity. #brandfail"

    Cliff Featherstone tweeted: "#FNB and the #ANC – putting the mock back in democracy"


    FNB met with the leadership of the ANC, led by its secretary general Gwede Mantashe on Thursday. The bank apologised to the ANC on Friday.

    "The CEO of FirstRand, Mr Sizwe Nxasana, agreed that the research clippings that were posted online were regrettable; he apologised for the posting of the research clippings online," the ANC said in a statement.

    "He then assured the meeting that this regrettable incident will not be repeated."

    The FNB campaign features a number of videos of children in school uniform reading their hopes for the country. Opposition parties and activist groups said the ANC's criticism of the campaign showed its intolerance.

    During the meeting, the ANC pointed out that the video clips were a deliberate attack on the ANC.

    The clips fed into the opposition narrative that sought to project the ANC and government in a negative manner, it said.

    The ANC said the clips had a negative impact on business confidence and could undermine the promotion of investment into the country.

    "The ANC indicated that its leadership and membership were strongly raising a question why the organisation should continue to bank with a bank that has adopted an oppositional (sic) stance to it."

    Nxasa explained to the ruling party the objectives of their youth campaign and stressed that it was meant to inspire all South Africans to work together by helping one another.

    FNB expressed its commitment to the National Development Plan in addressing the areas of poverty, inequality and unemployment, the ANC said on Friday. – Sapa.