APCON indicts multinational firms on reform rebellion

By Oghale Mafuru

The Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) has indicted multinational companies and conglomerates over rebellion by the Advertisers Association of Nigeria (ADVAN) on the Advertising Industry Standards Practice (AISOP).

Declaring its position and faulting the rejection of AISOP by ADVAN, APCON stated that formulation of AISOP followed all constitutional requirements and due consultation with all stakeholders.

The advertising regulator in a press statement signed by the Registrar, Dr. Olalekan Fadolako, noted that AISOP was instituted to revolutionize the advertising industry in Nigeria and set it at par with international standards, adding that the industry standard of practice is aimed at eliminating sharp practices and unethical behaviours that stifle the growth of the industry and country at large.

According to the statement, “AISOP is in line with the Federal Government’s reformative plans aimed at accelerating the pace of economic recovery post-pandemic era, enhancing gainful employment, attracting talents and investment in the industry as well as overhauling the business regulatory framework of the Nigerian advertising Industry.  AISOP seeks to improve mutual respect, eradicate unfair advantage, unethical competition and inequitable engagement terms between stakeholders in the marketing communication sector of the country.”

The regulator disclosed that AISOP is a product of a committee constituted to formulate the necessary guidelines, terms of engagement and other business protocols and that all sectoral groups, including ADVAN were equitably represented.

“Each sectoral group’s views and points were discussed and APCON moderated a win-win situation in line with best practices and the Federal Government Policies. All other sectoral groups made concessions based on the maxim of equity, fair play and government effort aimed at growing the economy. The document was later presented to the Hon. Minister of Information and Culture for approval in line with the APCON ‘s establishment Act,” Dr. Fadolapo said.

The advertising helmsman, who asserted that the reaction of ADVAN negates the principle of fairness and equity, affirmed that ADVAN’s rejection of AISOP is against the Federal Government’s agenda to stimulate growth in the economy especially in the SME sector.

It will be recalled that APCON officially unveiled the new AISOP on October 6, 2021 and it was immediately endorsed by AAAN, EXMAN, OAAN and others who described it as a step in the right direction.

Pledging his support for the new advertising guideline, President of the Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria (OAAN), Emmanuel Ajufo said: “OAAN is happy that AISOP has come to life, because we have been pioneering this for a very long time. It is going to benefit the industry ultimately and also impact positively on our businesses.”

Speaking in solidarity with the new provisions stated in AISOP, President of the Media Independent Association of Nigeria (MIPAN) urged members to comply with the new guidelines and notify their clients accordingly.

The MIPAN umpire, who reiterated his support for the new standard of practice, said: “We (MIPAN) played a key role in putting AISOP together along with other sectoral groups, and we have the responsibility to abide by it.”

On his part, President of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN), Steve Babaeko, while applauding the initiative, stated that “It is a good one coming from APCON; I think it is long overdue. As the president of AAAN, these are some of the things that keep me awake, where members complain on some of these issues that the law has tackled. I am looking forward to the enforcement and execution of the laws.”

However, ADVAN had announced its rejection of AISOP after the official presentation, citing a breach in constitutional procedure and claiming that the new guideline is opposed to the rights and interest of ADVAN.


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