FG dissolution of boards rekindles hope for reconstitution of ARCON Governing Council

By Oghale Mafuru

Following the sweep stakes in the adjustments of the political arena and the recent wave of suspensions which culminated in the dissolution of the board of government agencies and parastatals, industry stakeholders may soon heave a sigh of relief as the long-awaited Governing Council (board) of the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria, ARCON is likely to be constituted when the Federal Government makes his move to appoint members of the dissolved boards of parastatals and agencies.

A reliable industry source who pleaded anonymity, revealed to MARKETING EDGE that the boards of all the agencies under the Ministry of Information and Culture have been dissolved adding that ARCON board may be constituted alongside other agencies and parastatals soon.

“ARCON has been operating without a board. We expect that as the President moves to reconstitute the boards of the dissolved agencies, ARCON board will also be constituted” he said.

Since the dissolution of the ARCON board, then APCON in 2015, Industry stakeholders have repeatedly called for the re-constitution of the governing council for the smooth running of the advertising industry and for the strict compliance to the ethical standards of the advertising industry.

The dissolution of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) along with government parastatals by President Muhammadu Buhari was greeted with displeasure from professionals and industry watchers who were excited at the emergence of Mr. Udeme Ufot, a highly respected industry egghead and Group Managing Director, of SO&U, as the Chairman of Council. His appointed came on the heels of the persistent call for the Council to be headed by a professional which followed the imposition of Prince Ngozi Enioma, a non-professional as the APCON Chairman.

With the appointment of Mr. Udeme Ufot, it was expected that the business of regulation and the implementation of the long-awaited advertising reform which had been stalled in the last 18 months will start in earnest until the board was prematurely dissolved.

However, the new ARCON law stipulates that the Chairman of the board shall be a distinguished Fellow of the profession to be appointed by the President as the Director General of the Council shall be the Vice-Chairman. Once constituted, the governing board will consolidate the existing regulatory framework and achievements of the apex advertising agency in the repositioning of the advertising industry through the implementation of regulatory standards and ethical code of advertising as stipulated in the new ARCON law.

So far, the advertising industry has experienced a dynamic shift under the leadership of Dr. Olalekun Fadolapo who has initiated several reforms aimed to eradicate unethical practices that are capable of stifling the economic growth of the industry and nation at large.

Meanwhile, the ARCON law further stipulates that members of the Governing Council shall be drawn from the National Universities Commission (NUC), National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), Broadcasting Organization of Nigeria (BON), Newspapers Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN), Outdoor Advertisement Association of Nigeria (OAAN), Advertisers Association of Nigeria (ADVAN), Media Independent Practitioners Association of Nigeria (MIPAN), and Experiential Marketers Association of Nigeria (EXMAN), Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN) who shall be appointed by the Minister on the recommendation of the sector.



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