APCON moves against unethical online advertising

...gets NASS' backing

Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) is intensifying efforts at regulating Online advertising due to what it described as embarrassing, unethical, and provocative online platform advertisements.

This new move follows a plethora of complaints and petitions from the public to call online media platform owners to order because of reprehensible advertisements.

Olalekan Fadolapo, the CEO of APCON identified such distasteful advertisements as those promoting rituals, patronage of private parts enlargements, breast enlargement, love portion, and concoctions to provide political powers.

Other unwholesome advertisements, he said claimed the ability to cure all manner of ailments with one particular product without scientific proof.

He said the council has been inundated with petitions over unethical advertisements exposed on the online media platforms targeting the Nigerian market by both the primary and secondary digital media platforms.

He told journalists in Lagos on Monday that the Federal House of Representatives in Abuja has equally observed the trend of the exposure of unwholesome advertisements on the online media and has consequently directed APCON to effectively monitor and regulate Online media advertisement.

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“The resolution passed by the House of Representatives unequivocally directs APCON to ensure that the online advertisement conforms with the prevailing laws of the federation and as such must be made to comply with the provisions of the Nigeria Code of Advertising Practice, sales promotion and other rights and restriction of practice”.

Fadolapo further observed that with the increase of digital media activities in Nigeria and accessibility of online media platforms, Nigeria has been faced with a new threat of unethical and provocative advertising and marketing communication materials which have every potential of inflaming religious crisis, moral decadence and misleading information when allowed to thrive with attendant negative effect on the country, its economy and value system.

He strongly advised both primary and secondary agents exposing their advertisements online to approach APCON for vetting before such adverts will go online warning that failure to do so will attract the adequate penalty.

Also with electioneering season at hand, he advised political office aspirants to ensure that their political advertisements are vetted and approved by APCON before exposure on any medium. He believed that this will diminish the repugnant influence of hate speech and unethical political communication in the industry.

Fadolapo said that the council is committed to ensuring that the advertising ecosystem is sanitised and it will not shy away from pursuing all lawful means, including causing the prosecution of violators of the Act and the Code of advertising practice when violation occurs.

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