UCIP-Lebanon Warns from the Use of Religious Symbols in Commercial Advertisements and Calls for an Abiding Pact of Honor for Advertising Companies and Media Institutions
UCIP Media Observatory in Lebanon expressed its concern over the reactions provoked by the commercial advertisement of a giant company promoting for a digital photographic product. The company did not foresee the negative reactions of the public at large, in Lebanon in particular and in the Arab World in general when disrespecting ethics. In the light of such incident that took place while the Arab Interior ministers were meeting in Beirut and after an Israeli media tarnished the image of Jesus Christ and his mother Mary despite their sacrality for both Christians and Muslims, UCIP would like to ask the following questions:
1- Would the 3 stakeholders which participated in the advertisement i.e. "Al-Mustaqbal" newspaper, the Lebanese company FMS and Samsung group have done the same act of provocation with religious symbols in Qatar, a Muslim Arab country?
2- If Western societies accept such scandalous promotion without any backlash, is it the same in the Arab World?In order to prevent such pitiful incidents from happening again, UCIP suggests the following:
A- The Lebanese newspaper admitted its mistake and apologized bashfully, but this is not enough. Moreover, the Lebanese company in charge of the advertising evaded its responsibilities and this is unacceptable, for it would deceive even more the consumer and disrespect ethics. Such behavior does not only threaten the economy but also the security.
B- Samsung group must draw lessons from this incident in order to avoid a boycott of its products by Arab and Lebanese consumers because when it tarnished the image of the Christ, it offended both Muslims and Christians.
C- The role of the National Media Council must be enhanced and it must be granted more decision-making prerogatives in order to cooperate efficiently with the Press Syndicate and the Press Writers Syndicate as well as the Information and Education Ministries. Such measure would help all stakeholders to abide by the laws and honor pacts in the media field.
D- UCIP would like to remind politicians that are jealous of Christianity and its symbols that religion should not be exploited by any party. Christianity is about God, the redeemer who accepted to be crucified in order to save the world. His crucifixion will persist until the last man on earth stop suffering injustice. It will also persist as long as some Lebanese Christians keep saying the contrary of what they believe instead of bearing a testimony of unity and love.
Translated by: Marie-Lou Nicolas