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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, it was reported on Tuesday.
The New Age reported that the videos were scripted and that the children were paid R3 500 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, to 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 ANC leaders, including secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, about the adverts on Thursday, and apologised to the ANC on Friday. - Sapa