Saturday, September 5, 2009

Nigerian Government reacts to Sony's Playstation 3 Ad

The Nigerian government has expressed dislike for Sony's new Playsation 3 ad campaign that references the Nigerian letter scam. Here's the press release made yesterday by the Nigerian minister of information and communications, Prof. Dora Akunyili.



The attention of the Federal Government of Nigeria has been drawn to an advertisement by Sony Corporation on the internet which from all indications is designed to portray Nigeria in bad light in an effort for Sony to market her products. 

Link to ADVERT:

1. The advert in question currently circulating on and and other international websites creates the impression that Nigerians hardly do genuine business. This insinuation is in bad faith and unacceptable.

2. The Government and the good people of Nigeria reject this unwarranted attack on the reputation and image of the country. The government sees this as an attempt by Sony Corporation to undermine Nigeria’s business interest around the world. 

3. It is on record that Sony Corporation has operated in Nigeria since the country’s independence and has enjoyed tremendous patronage from Nigerians at home and abroad. Over these years, there is no established record that the company has recorded any major incidence of scam or fraud by Nigerians that warrants its deliberate campaign against the country’s image. 

4. While Nigeria accepts or concedes that there are few criminal minded people within her population just like any other country including Japan the home country of Sony Corporation. The Federal Government of Nigeria has as a matter of policy put in place institutions and mechanisms to rid the country of any form of fraudulent practices. Nigeria therefore does not see the basis to single out the country as an example in that infamous advertisement. 

5. In the light of the above, the Federal Government of Nigeria requests Sony Corporation to immediately withdraw that advertisement from circulation.

6. Nigeria also demands an unconditional apology from Sony Corporation for this deliberate negative campaign against the country’s image and reputation. The apology must be given the same measure of publicity by Sony Corporation in all channels where the unfortunate adverts were aired.

7. The Federal Government of Nigeria wishes to assure all genuine investors around the world that Nigeria remains a major investment destination and a country where most businesses thrives in trust, good faith, competition, competence and integrity.


Related stories: Playstation 3 ad changed after Nigerians protest against it

SONY to invest in Nigeria

Funny Playstation 3 ad references 419

Hacker attempts to help victim of Nigerian 419 scam recover $400,000

Nigerian scammers scammed and arrested

Nigerian government lashes out on District 9 and demands apology from SONY Pictures

Dora Akunyili wants SONY apology letter re-written


  1. Kayode Raphael AdegboyeSeptember 5, 2009 at 2:31 PM

    Good. Sony is also behind 'District 9'. Let see more reactions.

  2. Some of us are working on strategies to re-brand Nigeria, while some brainless advertising company decides to make a joke out of us. This is an insult; Sony went too far to have mentioned our country’s name. Apology is not good enough, they are currently benefitting from our great country aren’t they?
    It’s not their fault if not for the hand full that feel the only way to make a living is by conning people, and taking what is left of their forefathers inheritance, some brainless advertising company would not have done this. This is very heartbreaking; THE BASTARDS AMONGST US HAVE BROUGHT US ALL SHAME.

  3. I don't know what the fuss is all about. She should leave the white boy alone and let him continue his business.
    It is just a case off telling a black man that he is black. Is that a crime. You and I know that this SCAM thingy is real in Nigeria. He is just one of the people that has been saying that about Nigeria. If the white boy or SONY are to be brought to justice then Mrs Dora can as well bring all other people to justice. This guy should not and never be taken as a scape goat.
    You go ahead to Google, Bing, Yahoo, Wikipedia et all and search for the word SCAM and see for yourself.
    We should stop deceiving ourselves about this re-branding thingy. Yes Nigeria can be rebranded but we can't if we don't face it squarely. It is the way we dress that we are addressed. Let clean our content and our containers and everyone who sees us will talk good about us.
    O God of Creation, pls direct our Noble cause
    Patriotic I am and Patriotic i will always be

  4. That campaign is absolutely wrong. No one should sell products by painting someone else black. Sony should stop that ad

  5. Madam, go sit down. You have been bought at a price.

  6. I don't see how this is a problem, It is left to our dear EFCC to prove our critics wrong by doing their job and not chasing after CEO's of banks. I understand how our honourable minister feels, that kind of advert sure is resentful.

  7. I am appalled by some people here who are saying that the ad is merely telling the truth. Why don't you sit down and do some maths. How many Nigerians even as many live in poverty actually go to cybercafes and send out malicious emails to unsuspecting victims? Most Nigerians actually work hard to earn a living however meagre it is. so why should we sit back and allow Sony to tarnish our image like this all in the name of peddling its good of which ironically Nigeria creates a massive market for. If we sit back and suck this all up it will get to a point where emerged and emerging economies in the world will not only use us, but they will spit us out after sucking every goodness that can be derived from us; and there's plenty of goodness in us. I am sick and tired of people who only see the bad things in Nigeria. How many people born into poverty in the so-called Western world go on to become successful in the future? Most of them just get worse and blame the system and go on to lead average lives. Yet in Nigeria we find people who choose to succeed by all means and not sit on their butt committing murder and GBH and claiming it was either because they were bullied as a child or had a rough childhood. I am not saying there are no bad eggs amongst us. There are and they are plenty but they are far few in number compared to honorable Nigerians everywhere in the world. It is a shame that their activities are more visible now than decent Nigerians but as the saying goes, bad news spread fast. So what are we talking about? The US took military into Afghanistan and Iraq and see what has become the country. Yet they are hailed as heroes and not terrorists. What about the bomb they dropped on Hiroshima? By the power of propaganda they have engineered people's mind into thinking that whatever they do is for the good of the world when in fact it is pursuit of their own selfish ends. You want to talk about Japan and all the counterfeit goods they churn out? You cant even buy a Prada product these days and be sure it's really Prada thanks to the million of counterfeit goods in the market. So why hasn't there been an advertising campaign painting them as fraudsters? Nigeria is seen as an easy target and I don't see why we should continue to let that happen. Nigeria has started the work of re-branding itself and this sort of adverts just presents a setback. I hope the government of Nigeria doesn't relax in their campaign to have Sony remove those ads and apologise. In fact I think they should sue them and make them pay hefty damages. Nonsense!

  8. Honestly speaking, Nigerians are in a deep mess already. yes of course, we can try to stop negative publicity, but we really can't blame Sony. I think things like this should happen, so Nigerian government would take more stringent measures against internet SCAM. these guys are bastards and they really are tagging us as outcasts in the global environment. I blame the Nigerian government for finding it so hard to eradicate all these mishaps. Why do i even think they would, when all they are concerned about is their pockets. A good example is Nuhu ribadu...Nigeria is just a mess. I am ashamed!
    ...but God bless Nigeria.

  9. Sony should be banned from doing business in Nigeria...who said their is no fraud and scam in Japan? do Nigerians...know or use computer more than Japan? Who clown and Pirates CD's at Alaba? Is it not the Asians? how many grades of Sony Products do they have in Nigeria?...this is sick and crazy..they should leave Nigeria and neva do business here...I for one can't buy Sony Products anymore.....thats rubbish

  10. I am really shocked at the responses i am seeing up there about "oh yeah naijas are bad and its alright to call them out like that". That comment is unacceptable if we should start doing that then America itself should also have a bad name for the Wall Street crash, Halliburton saga in Iraq and the list goes on. Just because a few people are criminal minded doesnt mean that all Nigerians are scam artists. As an entrepreneur myself i can tell u i hardly rest because i am trying to make it. i constantly have to work in order to provide for my family and i take that ad as an insult. In america u get flyers in the mail all the time promising you heaven and earth, they might not bilk you much but imagine how many old people have lost their retirement money in scams here in the states eg pyramid and so called enter for sweepstakes that they make them buy products in order to be entered into drawings.
    In fact SONY has to issue and apology and also provide PS3's to naijas at a steep discount (i didnt say free) for their blunder.

  11. What kind of a reaction is that? The government should slam a total ban on all Sony products. That will serve them right.

  12. Shame on all that condemn the re-branding idea. Shame on all that accept the Sony advert. Shame on the ungrateful Sony for promoting these adverts.Most of all, shame on those that are giving our country a bad name.
    We should fight fervently all attempts to brand Nigeria as the scam capital of the world. It is ridiculous for a company of Sony's stature to embark on a such a ploy. What are they trying to prove? that they dont make immense profit off of this nation every year? thet we are not a major market for their products? I say the government should ban all sale and shipment of Sony products into this country for at least 2 years.
    To those gullible Nigerians that have accepted a bad name and lost belief in the redemptive capabilities of the country and its populace, I employ them to find nationality elsewhere and leave Nigeria for those that really believe in its success and growth as a nation. To those who are still at work soiling the Nigerian name, It is your names and your father's names that you are destroying, not that of my country. It is high time the country start dissociating itself from her errant citizenry. Let the news not read 'some Nigerians' let us print their names in bold.
    God Bless this country.

  13. Madam Akunyili is spot on. What she needs to do further is to discuss with her colleagues in Government, from the Minister of Commerce to Foreign Affairs and the people in Immigration.
    Nigeria ought to place an overt or covert ban on the sale of Sony products in the country. A covert ban is best: get citizens to boycott Sony until they apologise.
    The ad is in absolute bad taste.
    Some misguided people cannot see reason to defend the country even from uninformed idiots who nevertheless benefit from us. It is sad.

  14. To all the ignorant folks that assume Nigeria as their nationality, please find another country to claim. You are a shame to real Nigerians like me. As a Nigerian, I will do my best to uplift my country rather than to bring shame and a bad reputation. In addition to uplifting Nigeria, I refuse to keep quiet about anyone who places a disgustingly negative stereotype on my country.
    The only way one can agree with Sony or act as a foolish bystander is if that person himself is in fact a criminal or is in fact intellectually inferior and cannot distinguish between a truth and a stereotype.
    EVERYONE who is on Sony's side whether s/he is Nigerian or otherwise: you SICKEN me and you clearly cannot progress in life because you are much too stupid to know what steps to take.

  15. Look...frankly,the only way to solve a problem is to accept there is a problem. If we dont accept that there is a problem then what is the solution (re-branding) meant for. I can tell you that over 90% of playstation games in nigeria are chipped (fitted to play pirated games), and believe me nearly a 100% of the CDs are pirated. Go and check, now how is a company to survive if all its customers are Nigerians. And pls believe me i know very well what i am talking about.
    Our leaders have this attitude of acting like the Ostrich, hiding their head in the sand and forgeting the whole body is exposed. The truth is if the govt dsnt provide the enviroment for a healthy development, if they dont provide power, if companies are allowed to continue to fold up, if they the leaders continue to taunt the youths with their ill gotten wealth, then i am afraid the so called re-branding is just a so many other jokes the country is making without concrete plans or formula of acheiving them.

  16. The issue isn't whether Nigeria has a good image or not. There are some statements you don't make in public due to their sensitivity.
    Granted... by our sheer population density, Nigeria probably has the highest number of 419 scammers in Africa. We can joke about 419 amongst ourselves (even have a song and a dance routine associated with it). We can even laugh (or cry) when our foreign friends allude to it.
    It, HOWEVER, becomes unacceptable when a corporation as big as SONY makes such a blanket statement. They should have more social responsibility than that.
    So inasmuch as we have to clean up our act, SONY should know better than to make such an irresponsible gesture. It's one thing to mention how their company maybe got defrauded by a Nigerian, but making such a blanket statement is another issue.
    That said, if we have only limited time, energy and resources, and we have to choose one between punishing SONY and cleaning up our act, then we should clean up our act...we (or God) can always bring SONY to account later. Remember David, Shimei, and Solomon in the Bible.

  17. Nicely said DrAW, i think this whole episode calls for a deep reflection from us as Nigerians and particularly to the minister and her cohorts in power of what the coutry has degenerated to and not emphasize on the sentiments attached to it.

  18. This is so sad.
    This is the level our government has brought every one of us to.
    But tell you what? The statement or advert by SONY is unacceptable.
    If we have a responsible governemnet,apology alone will not solve the problem.
    I think thre is need to ban all sony product in Nigeria.
    None of sony product should be allowed to enter the country for as long as Nigeria becomes a better country to them.
    Bastard people. Se ama ntoju onika mesan ka ni?

  19. It is a shame. Sony is only confirming a known truth. Nigerian government and leadership itself is a SCAM. Nigeria is gradually being avoided by the whole world like a plaque. We have been cut off from all forms of global e-payment system because of the negative perception. You cannot even use a credit card to do an online transaction; once it is detected you are transacting from Nigeria, you are rejected. This government is very very corrupt. Our leaders are 'fraudsters'. God should save us from their hands for this nation to see the light and move forward. 'O Lord our Father, please send us a messiah and a radical that will take over this country and wipe out these criminals and cabal that have hijacked our dear country. Amen'.

  20. . Video interview of Mike Wallace saying Nigeria is probably the most corrupt country in Africa and probably even the world. Louis Farrakhan does not hesitate coming to Nigeria's defense and finishes Mike Wallace right there and then in the interview...pretty awesome:
    . Popular Nigerian artist Okpechi releases a song titled "I go chop your dolla" that in the guise of being funny actually glorifies the act of 419 and pretty much advocates scamming dumb westerners. The track is a hit in Naija and probably left a lasting impression on young Nigerians:
    . With emails being sent around the world about Nigerian princes needing help laundering money out of the country, Nigeria becomes synonymous on a global level with the infamous scam to the point that Hollywood is even thinking about making a movie about it:
    . SONY releases a funny ad for the PS3 slim that briefly references the scam, seeing that the Nigerian Letter has become a lasting meme in internet culture.
    It's been quite interesting checking out all the reactions to this. Now lets see what the Naija govt and us Nigerians do to take responsibility for making a positive change in Nigeria besides throwing tantrums when a commercial states the obvious and making songs praising 419.
    Wonder what's going to happen if Ben Stiller actually makes that 419 movie...don't think it will even be half as bad to how District-9 portrayed Nigerians in South Africa.

  21. I have responded to this here

  22. O Gani Fawehinimi, we miss you. Rest in peace. Even though few unscrupullous people have brought these filths to us through SONY this time by. I know if you are alive, you would definitely give SONY a rob in the nose for us. Gani, if possible when you get to Baba God; kindly tell Him to send a reformer possibly even a stronger one to help Nigeria out for there is still much to be done. SONY, two wrongs cannot make a right. SONY you missed it this time. Gani - SUN RE O.

  23. Someone finally noticed a PlayStation spot. Way to go Deutsch LA! Just when everyone thought the work was absolutely invisible... by the way, cash that Sony check quick.

  24. Fuck you dumbshits. You want discounted playstations? You want an apology? Well, here is your apology. I'm sorry your country is a joke on the international stage and is as absolutely infamous as the Somali Pirates.
    Oh, and for the record, I'm not just any Westerner. I'm an American, particularly the guy responsible for the ad. Just go check out my other ads, they can be found on youtube. I'm a SONY ad executive. Fuck Nigeria (other than Christian Okoye).

  25. Please read this and find out how this all got started:

    On September 2nd 2009, an Advertisement that was produced by Sony Corp of America was brought to my attention by my cousin in Chicago (via his Facebook page). The Advert is produced to promote Sony’s new PS3 game console: Please click here to see the Advert.

    On the same day that I saw the Advert, I called Ms. Lisa Davis, Sony Corp of America Press Coordinator – who was not at the office. I left a message with her secretary - who in turn gave me the name and phone number for a Peter Dille, the person whose Dept is responsible for the Advert.

    I in turn called Peter Dille, Sony Computer Entertainment (USA). He too was not available and I left a message with his secretary.

    At about 5:50pm EST. Ms. Lisa Davis called me back. I expressed our (Nigerians) concern about the Advert. I also advised Ms. Davis that we (Nigerians and Africans) are in the process of mobilizing a global campaign against Sony products by Africans - unless the Advert is removed from all media outlet immediately. To her credit, Lisa told me that she watched the Advert before calling me and she didn't think it was Sony's intent to classify all Nigerians as cunning and untrustworthy. Ms. Davis did however promised to get in touch with Mr. Peter Dille to discuss the issue (Ad Campaign) and that she and/or someone from Sony Corp will keep in touch with me.

    Finally, at about 8:45pm EST, I received a phone call from a Mr. Patrick Seybold, VP Sony USA Public Relations - whom I'd spoken with earlier at about 6:55pm EST. During his call to me, Mr. Seybold regrettably noted that the advert was not intended to offend Nigerians as a group of people or country. Mr. Seybold also assured me that Sony will pull the Adverts from all paid media (except the ones on the Internet) by the end of this week.

    t should be noted that during the entire day, I made several unsuccessful attempts to reach someone at the Nigerian Embassies and Consulates in New York, Washington, DC and Atlanta. Their phones were never answered and no one was picking u at their listed extensions either. What a Shame!!!

    In order for us Nigerians to collectively have a voice in the world, we need to form a reputable organization - through which we will be able to respond effectively and responsibly against negative publicity against our people and country.

    Please join this newly-formed organization, Global Association of Nigerians with Integrity.

    We are not all thieves, fraudsters, untrustworthy, 419 and we should STAND UP against any business, media or other group that classify ALL Nigerians as such!

    Olalekan Yusuf, Founder
    727-239-3258 (USA)
    Facebook: Global Association of Nigerians with Integrity.
    Twitter: ganwi

  26. This ads must have been thought through before releasing them, so no one saw anything wrong? The heads at Sony must be very dumb then to think there would be to repercussions.
    Nigerians should wake up and fight for this country, fight our fraudulent brothers, De-emphasis making money at all costs, ask our children who brings money home if they don't have a means where they got it from. Nigerians should stop blaming the government when its our brothers and sisters who are doing the damage. Its lame to always blame the government, what are you as a person doing about it. Every country has its problems and its not our business on this forum to highlight specific countries for some reason i don't know of. Every country should and will have there own interest at heart, so that shouldn't be seen as odd. Nigerians should wake up to our time tested values and solve this scourge. Its our brothers and sisters that are the scammers no matter how little you can do, lets crush this menace soonest before it gets out of hand. If you google Nigeria you'll maybe see scam first. We need to talk and act with our brothers and sisters, lets go back to values of contentment, equity and integrity...Now that goes for all of us not just the "government".

  27. There is a Yoruba Adage that says "no matter how much you cover the smoke it will definitely come out". i think erring nigerians should try to clean out their dirty closets cause this is a general comment made by SONY which has affected even the innocent. So much for the on-going "Rebranding Efforts"

  28. Scoopsnija,i feel you and love your comments. It is quite appauling that the so called ''Sony'' people my ass can rip us off of our hard earned cash and still make a caricature of us. Well i dont blame the BASTARDS when our leaders are the ones who create an avenue for them by coniving to bring up ideas which would only be beneficial to them by causing more hardship to the already suffering masses. May God help us all and surly truly, they will all regret these actions. God bless Nigeria. Sony BASTARDS


  30. One wonders how much thought went into the Sony PS3 advert before its release for public viewing. It brings to question the professional ethics of Sony, considering the sensitive nature of the issue in question. What utter disregard for a Sovereign State! A few bad eggs are not enough to make a general statement.
    And to you Nigerians who think you should make easy money by being fraudulent, I hope this serves you right. If you want anyone to respect you, start by respecting yourself!

  31. As much as I would like to see SONY punished for insulting us, Nigerians with Integritry should also focus on attacking and fighting Nigerians who bring shame and disrepute to Nigeria. I mean ALL 419ners, ODU BOYS AND GIRLS, ALAIYES, BOBOs, GUY MEN, JOB MEN etc. MUST BE TURNED IN AND REPORTED TO APPROPRIATE AUTHORITIES ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD. No need to shield them just because they are Nigerians. They are easily noticeable the way they behave within the Nigerian communities and social gatherings. They even mask their activies by opening some dubious shops to cash cheques and send MONEYGRAM (Western Union doesn't accept any person with Nigerian background for retail operations, even if you are a citizen of US, Canada, UK, etc, because of so many bad experience with Nigerians), Some even drive cabs to cover up,while living the life of a millionaire.
    I was recently told by a friend visiting the US from Canada that a 419ner had a huge party three years ago in Toronto. There were so many US dollar bills sprayed to the extent of one Bobo spraying a brick wall to the shock of the hardworking Nigerians. So, 419ers (Odu boys and girls) are the real enemies and problem of Nigeria. YarAdua cannot solve the problem alone. We need all Nigerians abroad to turn these people in to the authorities, instead of worshipping them at parties.
    How I wished Idiagbon and Buhari were never overthrown. They were on track of setting Nigeria on the right path. This whole 419 mentality and Ajuduwarism would never have germinated as it would have been exterminated.

  32. Shame on all Nigerians who are condeming Sony. We Nigerians should stop pretending that we don't have serious issues with our society and that the negative image that Nigeria has as a country and Nigerians as a people have globally are truly justified. Instead of campaigning against Sony we should campaign against our corrupt government and failing society. We should form a grassroot movement and take our government back from those destroying it (Yes we can - and yes we do miss GANI) we know who they are, they live amongst us, we call them our leaders but nobody voted for them, they are only in power because they could rig and bride their way. They spend our oil money as if it's their personal property now they have the audacity to encourage us condem Sony. I applaud Sony for what they have said and challenge all Nigeria to look inward and clean up out acts.

  33. I was a little bit upset about the sony ps3 advert that portrayed nigerians as scams,though,sony thinks they got the big mouth to insult us,now let nigerians stop buying their products and stop diplomatic relation with the mother country of sony.
    I wonder why all this fuss about nigeria,our history will never forget the cruelty,slavery,theft and evil that whitemen have done to the blackrace. The british and american are the most wicked and thieves all time. Now if whitemen have forgotten,let me remind them that evil that british did to american before the independence was unquantified eyesore that attracts a lot of reparatory compensations of all time. German also did their own under Hitler,remember the 6million massacre of jews,Jews now doing their own turns of wickedness to phalestine and lebanonafter taking their land from them while america,britain,france and other superpower were watching the films and gladdened their heart with the sheddings of blood all the time.
    Remember vietnam war perpetrated by americans,what of iraq and afghanista. Remember the sorrowful experience of black south African in the hand of that crazybalded Peter Bolta and other slaveriders that time.
    The loots of preindependence of african nations were used to build the major cities in europe like london,,barcelona,rome and many others,the blackslaves built america and labour with every single beats of their heart,they worked to the last atom of their power,now you are calling us thieves,we built america,our labour,toiling and sweats fertilized your land, and now you are calling us black and scams.
    Go and learn history. You perpetrate evil,you created internet to exploit us again,your descendants are on their nakedness just in the name of money,immorality and bestiality have taken control of your land and no one seems to talk about that.
    You all cover your own buckets of worms and keep on shouting nigeria,nigeria. What have we done to you?

  34. You know, I always thought that people who are in a problem together will all be seeking one thing- to get out, and that they will therefore always sync when it comes to getting out of their problem, but reading some purpotedly Nigerian's comment on this Sony's errant and rascally reference to a sovereignty, I feel shocked.
    Could it be a result of stark cockiness, or stupidity, or just fever, or selfishness, or mental inferiority, or just a mere desire to sound different. why would any Nigerian condone Sony's remark on her country, even if we think our politicians are not worth siding with, or that our country is going to break or whatever?!
    No wonder humanity cannot make speedy progress even though all of them have a common enemy; we have to keep waiting for the foolish to recover and see things properly before we can move together.
    I reject Sony's blatant remark as childish and unexamined, even if we were their closest competitor in the electronic industry and we are as evil as they 'wish', it does not make them any better to sell their product by malighning us publicly or exaggerating our weakness. it is unethical.
    I think the Head Advertinsing Department of Sony should resign for leading such a global company astray.