AISOP needs further discussion – Bunmi oke

By Ibidunni Banjoko

Chief Executive Officer and Lead Consultant of Lady Bird Limited, Bunmi Oke has said that the Advertising Industry Standards of Practice (AISOP), recently launched by the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), needs further discussion, arguing that the absence of APCON Council contributed to a lack of consensus to such a groundbreaking regulatory framework.

She disclosed this during an exclusive interview with MARKETING EDGE, Nigeria’s foremost brands, marketing and advertising magazine.

Speaking on the rejection of AISOP by the Advertisers Association of Nigeria (ADVAN), Mrs. Oke said a robust discussion would have happened if APCON had a Council, adding that such discussion could have culminated in an adoption before getting the document to the public.

According to her, a constituted Council would have agreed and disagreed, then come up with a better resolution which no one will have the right to reject because it is the law which everyone has to follow whether you agree or not.

In her words: “Probably what they (ADVAN) are saying is that they want more discussion on AISOP. Maybe we need to sit down and make everyone see the merits of it.”

Mrs. Oke, however, noted: “I think what is also affecting the discussion is because we are in a broken society where no one can plan, predict and many are not honest. It gets to a point where a client will say, I will pay after 90 days or some will tell you they won’t pay after getting the work done. But I’m not a financial house and if I tell a client that I can’t finance the project the response I will get is that I don’t have the financial muscle when I’m not a thief. If I decide to borrow money for the client to pay with so much interest, you will say that I’m cheating you.

“But this can’t happen in an advanced country because everything works around credit system of 30 days. I can speak for UK as an example, because people need to pay bills.”

She continued: “I empathize with the advertisers; they are working with other variables that you and I don’t know. I understand why they have their reservation because they can’t control the consumer who is the end person buying the goods. They have issues of frequent inflation and also importation challenges to reproduce. They can’t control their consumers but they can control their suppliers of which they categorize the agency to be part of the suppliers’ base. The issue is beyond our micro operations; it is the system of the country that everybody is kicking against both APCON and the advertisers.

“What AISOP is saying is totally correct; it is the absence of a Council that makes one party to reject the initiative. AISOP is bringing some sanity to an insane situation and all parties have their points. The best way to treat this is through dialogue. We all work hand in hand – without a client, an agency does not exist.”

“I also commend the effort of the registrar, at least someone could call to say let’s start from somewhere and put some sanity to this,” she concluded.


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