HASG calls for representation on APCON Governing Board, proposes amendments

The joint body of professionals across the marketing communications industry, advertising companies and broadcasters as represented by the Association of  Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN), Experiential Marketers Association of Nigeria (EXMAN), Media Independent Practitioners Association of Nigeria (MIPAN), Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria (OAAN), and the Advertisers Association of Nigeria (ADVAN), under the aegis of the Heads of Advertising Sectoral Group (HASG), has presented a strategic resolution calling on relevant government bodies in Nigeria to ensure representation of all its sectoral groups on the  Advertising  Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) governing board.

Specifically addressed to Honourable Speaker of the House of Representatives; Chairman, House Committee on Information, Honourable Members of the House Committee on Information and Honourable Minister of Information, the Bill, sponsored by Hon. Adeyemi Akeem Adeniyi, seeks to amend the Advertising Practitioners Act CAP. A 7, L FN, 1988 to ensure smooth operation of the Council and related matters.

In a statement made available to MARKETING EDGE and signed by Femi Adelusi, Chairman HASG & President Media Independents Association of Nigeria (MIPAN), the Group commended  the House Committee  on Information for its initiative  and hard work towards the progress of the Nigerian advertising and marketing communications industry in line with contemporary realities of the practice, and for its steps toward ensuring that the industry is guided by the right laws and legislation that provide the right environment for the practice and also protect the citizens of Nigeria.

While commending the Committee on proposed amendments, the Group, however, suggested additional amendments. The HASG, in the proposed amendments to the bill, reasoned that executions of the marketing communications laws in the country are better implemented by the practitioners in the industry.

“Our inputs will also ensure that the Nigerian people and practitioners are well served with laws and policies that are modern, progressive and future-proof in the interest of our dear country. Our recommendations are also in line with international best practices and comparable to the practice in many African countries highlighted below, though we recognise and respect the uniqueness of our country, our values and our ethics. In all of these bodies, the practitioners play very leading roles in the regulation of the advertising industry,” the Group stated.

It also named established examples on the African continent, including South Africa: ICASA-Independent Communications Authority of South Africa: (The authority responsible for regulating the industry BCCSA–Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa: (The authority that enforces the Code of Conduct for TV & Radio AMF-AMF (The Advertising Media Forum, South Africa MASA-The Marketing Association of South African) and Kenya, noting that Kenya, apart from the Film & Poison (Pharmaceutical) Boards, all others are led by the practitioners: The Communication Authority of Kenya, the primary regulatory body, the Marketing Society of Kenya (MSK), and Kenya Advertising Standards Board.

“As the global advertising industry continues to evolve, the practice will continue to touch our lives in one way or another – not only as a profession, but as an integral part of our livelihoods, healthcare delivery, everyday living & lifestyle, business enterprise/commerce, technology, governance and political life,” it explained.

Emphasising the significance of sectoral specialty in media and regulation, the Group cited the recent ban/suspension of Twitter, a micro-blogging platform, by the executive arm of government and its resultant multi-dimensional impact, pointing out the need to have the right professionals in positions to influence decisions and advice government in the best interest of the citizens.

“It is therefore very critical that the Governing Council of APCON (APCON board) should have representatives from all the key advertising sectoral groups formally recognised,” the Group stated.

In conclusion, the HASG enunciated the crux of the Bill thus: “For avoidance of any ambiguity or misrepresentation, let us emphasise that among our recommended amendments, our most pertinent and primary request is representation of all our sectoral groups on the APCON governing board.

“We thank you for this opportunity to again provide clarity on our submission to this Honourable Committee at today’s Public Hearing. We will continue to engage with you all in advancing the advertising industry in Nigeria. We salute, credit and recognise the work being done by the National Assembly of Nigeria and long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”


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