• Friday, June 21, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Disquiet in advertising industry as NBC, Lai Mohammed sideline APCON in new broadcasting Code

Disquiet in advertising industry as NBC, Lai Mohammed sideline APCON in new broadcasting Code

The Nigerian Code of advertising practice as amended by Act 93 of 1992 vested the powers of regulating and controlling the practice of advertising in Nigeria on Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria, APCON.

But the council was not involved in the new broadcasting Code which spelt out a number of rules for advertising practice in Nigeria, some sources close to NBC have alleged. It is therefore confusing whether two bodies will be regulating the advertising practice simultaneously.

The alleged non-involvement of APCON in the amendment of the new code is creating worry among advertising practitioners who now tend to believe the criticism that the code was not a product of holistic stakeholder engagement.

In its intention to stimulate growth in advertising industry and promote local content, the code mandated broadcasters not to transmit adverts produced by foreign entities, companies or organisations for the Nigerian market.

Prior to this Code, industry operators told BusinessDay that APCON was charging advertisers with foreign content in their advertisement about N500,000. This was seen as a source of revenue for APCON as advertisers were ready to pay to produce clearer advertisements abroad.

The APCON registrar, Ijedi Iyoha could not be reached in Lagos for comments, but industry operators who spoke to BusinessDay said APCON representatives could have raised the issue during the amendment of the code if the council were involved in the review of the code.

“It is a slight on our industry if government is drafting a code that involves our sector and our apex regulatory body is not invited to contribute to it”, an operator said.

This latest development is coming at a time Buhari government has left APCON without a board for more than five years, a development that has stalled some activities of the council.

Due to lack of board, APCON management has not been able to enforce certain rules and install fellows of members who are due to the position.

The Industry operator said “IMC industry without APCON board is like an aircraft flying without a control tower”.

Operating without a board for over five years is severely affecting APCON. For instance, APCON is waiting for a re-constitution of its board to push for the review of APCON law to accommodate digital Ad monitoring and regulation.

The Buhari administration in July 2015 dissolved the board of APCON alongside the boards of other agencies and parastatals. However, up until now, APCON, which regulates Nigeria’s Advertising industry, does not have a council.