Tuesday, 31 October 2017

The Development of the Advertising Industry and Regulatory System in Nigeria and West Africa


The Development of the Advertising Industry and Regulatory System in Nigeria and West Africa

APPROACHES TO ADVERTISING REGULATION
There are basically two approaches to advertising regulation around the world, namely, self-regulation and statutory regulation. Many of the developed countries practise predominantly, the self-regulatory approach, a system that relies on independent and voluntary trade and professional associations. These are associations of practitioners who undertake to regulate themselves through codes of conduct to which they voluntarily subscribe. They choose and commit themselves to behave responsibly because they appreciate that it is in their interest, ultimately, to do so.  They also realize that in so doing, they make it unnecessary for government to intervene in the practice by enacting legislation that often tend to be high handed and inimical to business.

Typically, the code of conduct, which is the bedrock of advertising self-regulation, seeks to achieve one result, namely, ‘a high standard of consumer protection based on the premises that advertising should be legal, decent, honest and truthful’ (European Advertising Standards Alliance Summit, June 25, 2004). 

Incidentally, some West African Countries, such as the republic of Ghana practice self-regulatory functions of Advertising through the Advertisers Association of Ghana very similar to what is obtainable in European Advertising Standards Alliance.

The alternative approach to advertising regulation is statutory regulation. It relies on legislations and regulations enacted by the government and its agencies which are established to enforce the legislations and regulations.

Though the best standard of consumer protection may never be achieved through legislation, it provides the essential legal backup to make self-regulation effective, and particularly to deal with those who have chosen the path of lawlessness and irresponsible conduct.

Many ECOWAS countries, including Nigeria, adopt a hybrid of the self-regulatory and statutory mechanisms.

Prior to the establishment of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) by Act Number 55 of 1988, the Association of Advertising Practitioners in Nigeria (AAPN now AAAN) had assumed the responsibility of regulating advertising practice in Nigeria by drawing up and enforcing among its members, a code of conduct for the practice of advertising.  Being a voluntary association without a statutory authority, the AAPN was not in a position to enforce its code on those who do not belong to the association or who have not subscribed to the code.
There were, at the time, other organizations, individuals and associations whose interests in advertising were in conflict with those of the AAPN, who also sought, under various guises, to regulate or resist the regulation of the practice of advertising in the country.  The emergence of APCON was, to a large extent, meant to harmonize all possible conflicts in the regulation of advertising in Nigeria.

Today, all of these organizations and individuals are organized into various self-regulatory associations for the purpose of maintaining professional cohesion and discipline.  They all come under the regulatory umbrella of APCON in which council they have representatives.

          THE FRAMEWORK FOR ADVERTISING REGULATION IN NIGERIA
          The framework for the regulation of advertising in Nigeria is built on the Advertising Practitioners (Registration, etc) Act Number 55 of 1988 and the amendment Act Number 93 of 1992, which established the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) and its statutory organ, the Advertising Standards Panel.  These laws give APCON the power to regulate advertising in Nigeria in all its aspects and ramifications while a subsequent amendment of the Acts provides for the collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health, on the regulation of advertisements for food, drugs and cosmetics.

          The laws provide for the representation of the key stakeholders in advertising in the governing council of APCON, namely,  advertising agencies (AAAN & OAAN) advertisers (ADVAN), broadcast media organizations (BON), print media organizations (NPAN), the federal ministry of information and tertiary institutions of learning offering advertising related courses. The policies and procedures for the regulation of advertising in Nigeria are therefore consensus decisions of the advertising stakeholders operating through the APCON governing council and guided by the enabling laws. 

The regulatory policies and procedures rest on three platforms, namely:
i.             Registration of practitioners as prerequisite for engagement in advertising practice
ii.            Formulation and enforcement of a code of advertising practice which defines the principles on which good advertising is based
iii.           Operations of organ for the enforcement of advertising standards and professional discipline.

Registration (Licensing) of Advertising Practitioners
Regulation of advertising practice begins with the registration of advertising practitioners.  This is meant to ensure that only those who have acquired the requisite knowledge and skill and are therefore in a position to conduct themselves professionally, are licensed to practice.  The formal induction of the registered practitioners, which is the final stage of the registration process, is intended to make the practitioners commit themselves to and be bound by the code of advertising practice through the swearing of the oath of practice.  It also makes them subject to the disciplinary procedures of the council.  Nobody who is not registered by APCON as an advertising practitioner is permitted by law to practise advertising in Nigeria in any form. The law provides for a fine or jail term or both fine and jail term for any person who engages in advertising for gain, without being registered by APCON.

A Register of Advertising Practitioners which contains the names and particulars of duly registered and bonafide practitioners is published by APCON from time to time, for the guidance of those wishing to engage the services of advertising practitioners.  Copies of the Register can be obtained at any APCON office.

The Code of Advertising Practice
On the other hand, the Code of Advertising Practice specifies the rules and regulations which guide the production and exposure of advertisements in Nigeria and the professional conduct of practitioners.  Underlying the detailed regulations on general and specific forms of advertisements is the requirement for advertisements to be truthful and honest, decent, legal, fair in competition, respectful of the culture and social morality of the environment where they are exposed and do not mislead the consumers in making their choices of products and services or endanger their wellbeing.

Advertising Practitioners are expected to familiarize themselves with the provisions of the Code and ensure that every advertisement conceived, produced or exposed by them comply with the applicable provisions of the Code.  Copies of the Code of Advertising Practice in Nigeria are given to all practitioners during their induction.  They are also available for purchase at all APCON offices.

Enforcement Organs
Act number 93 of 1992 provides for the establishment of the Advertising Standards Panel (ASP) which is charged with the responsibility to vet advertisements (in order to ensure that they fulfill the  provisions of the Code of Advertising Practice) and give approval for their exposure in the public media.  By the provisions of this Act, no advertisement which did not receive the approval of the ASP is authorized to be exposed in Nigeria.

APCON will sanction any advertisements for all categories of products and services except obituaries and public service announcements which are found to be in breach of the Code of Advertising Practice, or exposed in any media without a certificate of approval issued by the ASP.

The Registrar of APCON, together with his staff, has the responsibility to monitor and identify advertisements which are exposed without the approval of the ASP and enforce the provisions of the law as they affect such (illegal) advertisements.  Such enforcement will involve the removal or stoppage or causing to be removed or stopped, such illegal advertisements and the payment of appropriate fine by the person involved.  The Council may also initiate disciplinary measures at the Advertising Practitioners Investigating Panel (APIP) and the Advertising Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (APDC) against the errant advertising practitioner, or a legal action (criminal prosecution) if the person involved in the exposure of the advertisement is not a registered advertising practitioner.  The APDC or the High Court, as the case may be, will determine the extent of culpability of the errant or illegal practitioner and impose appropriate penalties.  The APDC may impose fines, reprimand the practitioner, suspend him from practice or withdraw his registration while the court may sentence one who is guilty of illegal practice to jail term or fine or both jail and fine.

CONCLUSION

Both approaches have worked very well for West African Countries, although the statutory related function being practiced in Nigeria is a paradigm shift from commonly practiced self-regulation. Some African countries are seriously considering importing the statutory regulatory approach from Nigeria because of its dispassionate modus operandi in the advertising industry.


Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Industry News: 3rd INTERNATIONAL DIGITAL BROADCASTING SUMMIT | August 22-23, 2017


The General Manager of Lagos Television, LTV, and South West Chairman of Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria, BON, Mrs. Funke Moore on Thursday disclosed that the 3rd International Summit on Digital Broadcasting in Nigeria has been scheduled to hold in Lagos between August 22 and 23, 2017 at Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island.
Addressing a Press Conference ahead of the event, Moore revealed that the seamless transition from the analogue broadcasting to Digital Switch Over, DSO, will top discussions at the summit.
According to her, the theme of the event, “The Future of Nigeria’s Digital Broadcasting Ecosystem: Technology, Content, Platforms, and Devices”, will provide broadcasters – Television and Radio, as well as other industry stakeholders in Nigeria – the crucial information and industry knowledge, opportunities and challenges to be faced by professionals in the evolving digital age especially in Nigeria.
“For the successful Digital Switch-Over (DSO) in Nigeria, the current Terrestrial Free to Air licenses for both private and public (institutions) will be the first switch to digital before other channels come on board. It is therefore important that current operators be well informed and educated to complement the efforts of National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) on its DSO roadmap”, she explained.
Moore expressed the belief that at the end of the summit the broadcast industry would be fully equipped to actualize the DSO project.
The summit will feature renowned local and international speakers and resource persons who will showcase global best practices and share experiences, whilst outlining practical strategies and plan modalities to enable the broadcast media industry to achieve the best outcome from digital broadcasting

2017 ABUJA ADVERTISING EXHIBITION


Monday, 31 July 2017

INDUSTRY UPDATE: National Stakeholders Conference on Public Service Delivery

National Stakeholders Conference on Public Service Delivery in Nigeria. themed: Building Government Capabilities for Service Delivery: Implementing Performance, held @ Arewa House Kaduna, July 11 - 14,  2017. (Left to Right: Mr. Ahmed Yelwa, Ms. Nor, Comfort Maryam, Mr. Ralph Anyach Ms. Martha Onyebuchi and Mr. Salisu Dawaki)

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Industry News: CREATIVE NIGERIA SUMMIT 2017 | JULY 17-18, 2017 | #CNS2017

In line with the Federal Government’s resolve to diversify the economy through strategic empowerment of critical sectors, the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), will open the Creative Industry Financing Conference holding at Eko Hotels and Suites, Lagos, today and tomorrow, Tuesday, July 18, 2017.
With ‘Financing the Film, Television and Music Industries,’ as its theme, the conference is being organised by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, in conjunction with Think Tank Media and Advertising headed by Dr. Muyiwa Gbadegesin.
The conference’s primary objective, according to Information and Culture Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, is to take the industry into a golden era of smooth access to short and long term financing, world class management as well as local and international distribution.

Speaking at a news briefing in Lagos at the weekend, the minister said the conference was conceived to address the lack of access to financing, which is stunting the growth of the creative industry. “It is the latest in a series of conferences and other events that we have held since assuming office. Recall that we held the landmark National Summit on Culture and Tourism last year to chart the path for the industry. Most of its recommendations are already being implemented,” Alhaji Mohammed said, adding that the conference reflects the significance that Buhari administration attaches to the creative industry as the government sees it as the new oil that is going to propel Nigerian economy to greater heights.
Essentially, the conference grows from the understanding that Nigeria, as the third largest film industry in the world, the most successful music industry on the continent, and the second largest television household market in Africa, evolved without a plan, without government effort and without well-structured financing.
Now, we are desirous of exploiting and exploring these potentials,” the minister said.
‘’As you are undoubtedly aware, this Administration attaches a whole lot of importance to the Creative Industry. This is in line with its cardinal programme of diversifying the economy away from oil,’’ he said, adding: ‘’There is no better demonstration of the high priority given to the Creative Industry than the fact that the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, himself will declare open the Creative Industry Financing Conference.’’
The Minister said the overall essence of the Ministry’s efforts is to transform the Creative Industry to a Creative Economy. “We also believe that this transformation must be driven by the private sector, with the government providing the enabling environment,” he said.
The topics to be tackled by experts from within and outside Nigeria include ‘Government’s Role in Funding Creative Industry: The Bank of Industry Experience’, ‘Fundamentals of Financing Film, Television and Music Production’ and ‘Film, Television and Digital Distribution’
Speakers at the conference include, chair of the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service, Hamzat Ayodele Subair; CEO of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission;  Yewande Sadiku; founder of Iroko TV, Jason Njoku; Alex Okosi of Viacom International Media Network; Jeff Kalligheri of Waterstone Entertainment and Kene Mkparu of Filnhouse Cinemas.
Others are Lindsey Oliver of Chiswick Park Studios, Rachel Glaister of EVP International Brands and Press; Adeola Bali of Garment Care Limited, Sanjay Salil of MediaGuru and Pai Gamde of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

Friday, 30 June 2017

APCON RATTAWU Chapter Inauguration held on June 20, 2017 at APCON House Lagos.








The Registrar/CEO, of APCON, Alh. Garba Bello Kankarofi in a warm hand-shake with the National President of Radio Television Theatre And Arts Workers Union of Nigeria (RATTAWU) Comrade, Kabir Garba Tsanni while the Chairman, RATTAWU Lagos Council, Comrade Dare Durosimi looks on during the Inauguration of APCON RATTAWU chapter held recently at APCON House Lagos.

RATTAWU members chanting solidarity songs at the Inauguration.

Newly elected EXCO of APCON RATTAWU. L- R: Com. Chukwudi Ezeaba N. (Secretary) Com.Akpausoh Anieti Udo (National Sec.) Com. Neboh Augustine (Vice - Chairman) Com.Kabiru Garba Tsanni ( Nat. Pres. RATTAWU) Com. Ahmed Yelwa (Chairman, APCON RATTAWU) Com. Markus Inji Lukman (Fin. Sec.) Com. Kabiru Salihu A.( Treasurer) Com. Rabietu Amana ( Auditor) Com. Henry Ikechukwu Ogbu (Ass. Sec.)


Cross-section of happy faces of  APCON staff at the Inauguration.

Exhibition of Repatriated Artifacts by National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM) on June 15, 2017 held at the National Museum Onikan, Lagos.







1. - Registrar/CEO APCON, Alhaji Bello Garba Kankarofi being interviewed by BBC Reporter at the Exhibition of Repatriated Artifacts.

2. L - R: D.G National Commission for Museum and Monuments (NCMM), Mallam Yusuf Abdallah Usman, Honorable Minister for Information and Culture, (HMIC) Alhaji Lai Mohammed and Registrar/CEO, APCON, Alhaji Garba Bello Kankarofi at the event.


3. IND1 - Some of the returned lost treasure