Monday, 18 February 2019

EUROPEAN UNION ELECTION OBSERVATION MISSION NIGERIA 2019 VISITS APCON HOUSE


The representatives of the European Union Election Observation Mission Nigeria 2019 visited APCON House recently in Abuja, the  team was headed by Inta LASE, media Analyst. The team analyses political, electoral, legal regulatory and other issues related to the electoral process.

The members of the team, who are currently in Nigeria,  has the mandate  to assess election based on International standards. They  were received by the Ag. Registrar of the Advertising Practitioner’s Council of Nigeria, APCON, Mrs.Ijedi Iyoha, rpa.

Responding to the questions on compliance/ regulatory issues on  Campaign activities of the political parties, Mrs. Iyoha informed the team that APCON   recorded about  65% compliance from the political parties who submitted their advertising campaigns  for vetting and approval which is an improvement from the 2015 general election. However, the support groups for the political parties have not complied with the extant laws. On violations, APCON has captured and recorded several  violations.

On the issues of sensitization of our mandate, she continued that APCON had several Public fora and collaborations with the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) on political communication, press mentions/ releases, radio  and television appearances, meetings with political parties at INEC office, to educate the political parties, party agents, media practitioners, support groups etc, on the need for the advertising campaigns to be issue based and free from hate speech.

The European Union Election Observation Mission is here in Nigeria, through the invitation of the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) to observe  the general Election, and had been doing this since 1999.

Concerning the challenges faced by APCON in discharging its regulatory  mandate, Mrs Iyoha mentioned :
1.     The resentment of the code by some political parties
2.     The propagation of hate speech through the social media
3.     Non compliance by the media organisations
4.     Inadequate funding
5.     Inability of APCON  to cover the country effectively. 

Thursday, 14 February 2019

We Are Neutral In Our Enforcement – APCON Registrar



Mrs. Ijedi Iyoha. rpa
The Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria, APCON has reacted to an allegation that its clamp down on some campaign billboards and posters of some political parties were targeted at opposition parties to favour the ruling party.


Reacting to a recent report aired on the African Independent Television (AIT) network, the Acting Registrar of the Council, Mrs Ijedi Iyoha, vehemently denied the insinuation of partisanship in the conduct of its enforcements.


She stated that all the billboards and posters blanked out did not meet the pre-exposure vetting requirements of the Council, and not because they belonged to the opposition parties. She stressed that the boards on which enforcements were carried out cut across parties.


For the avoidance of doubt, she added that APCON requires political parties and their candidates to forward their advertisements for pre-exposure vetting. Mrs Iyoha emphasised that political advertisements were being vetted to promote sanity and peace of the democratic process.


She added further that ahead of the campaigns, the Council had held series of stakeholder enlightenment on political advertising and sent out notices to parties believing that they would comply with the law.

Monday, 11 February 2019

Re: APCON has taken up the Responsibility of LASAA



As we inch close to the 2019 general election, our attention has been drawn to the controversies on new media platform as regards our operations.

Individuals are expressing opinions about the state of enforcement on political advertisements, some state that APCON, the regulatory body of advertising are not balanced in their enforcement exercises.

They accuse APCON of being partisan and sparing advertisements belonging to the APC (the ruling party) while at the same time blanking out those of the opposition.

This is not true, as it is misleading to the general public. APCON vets all advertisements before their exposure in the media.

As a public institution, APCON has no sectional interest. That is why it marks for removal, any advertisement that has no pre-exposure approval irrespective of the party involved.

The exercise so far has cut across parties (those in power and the opposition) you may find attached some of the advertisements.













Friday, 29 December 2017

APCON Partners New Crystal Communications in Creativity and Talent Hunt

The  Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria, APCON in partnership with  New Crystal Communications Ltd., a leading innovative outdoor advertising company in Nigeria on a mission to identify creative talents among students in tertiary institutions
who could be groomed to fill the manpower needs of the advertising industry in Nigeria.

The initiative by the two bodies comes under the project theme: "ADVERTISING CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION TALENT HUNT, to encourage and support Nigerian undergraduates to take up career in advertising.



The pilot edition of this project was moderated by Mrs. Omowunmi Owodunni, Managing Director of STB  McCann, Lagos had the following winners: First position went to Miss Odunmoluwa Fadekemi of the University of Lagos, who took away a cash prize of N500,000. The Second position was won by a team from the University of Ilorin, led by Adesina Opeyemi - they won the cash prize of N300,000. The team from Caritas University, Enugu, led by Sombo Duru came Third with a prize money of N200,000.

Consolatory prizes of N50,000 a piece  went to two teams each from the Nigeria Institute of Journalism, Ogba, for taking the fourth and fifth positions.

Monday, 4 December 2017

DR. BEL MOLOKWU LAUNCHES NEW BOOK ON ADVERTISING

On Thursday, November 16, a book written by Dr. Josef Bel Molokwu, Senior Fellow and member of the Management team at the School of Media and Communication, SMC, was presented to the public at the NAN Media Centre, National Theatre Annexe, Iganmu, Lagos. The 472 page book titled “A Trilogy of Advertising: The Profession, The Practice, The Philosophy”, was launched under the auspices of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria, APCON. Dr Bel Molokwu was former Registrar/Chief Executive of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria – APCON from 1994 – 2005. The launch which was chaired by former Chairman of APCON and Chairman of Reckitt Benckiser Nigeria, Chief Olu Falomo had in attendance prominent and eminent practitioners in the Nigerian advertising space including the Current APCON Chairman and CEO, Alhaji Garba Bello Kankarofi among others.


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