As part of the efforts to ensure compliance with an online advertisement, the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) on Monday, announced new regulations for the digital media space.
The Registrar/ Chief Executive of APCON, Dr Olalekan Fadolapo, who disclosed the new development at a press briefing, held at the Sheraton Hotel in Ikeja, Lagos, stated that APCON would regulate the media space with the provisions of the Nigerian code of advertising practices.
Dr Fadolapo noted that with the increase of digital media activities in Nigeria and the accessibility of online media platforms, “we have 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”.
According to him, the advent of the internet and new media, characterized by social networking sites such as Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp etc., has revolutionized communication globally.
” All the giant tech and primary digital media platforms owners such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc have been exploring the Nigeria digital media space with all sorts of advertisements some of which violate the Nigerian Code of Advertising Practice, pre-exposure vetting and ethical requirements of an advertisement.”
The Registrar noted that we have had complaints and petitions from the general public to call online media platform owners to order because of some reprehensible advertisements such as those promoting rituals, patronage of private parts enlargement, breast enlargement, love portions, money charms, concoctions to provide political powers, and other many unimaginable things not worthy to be mentioned in the public media. Some others have claimed the ability to cure all manner of ailments with one particular product without scientific proof. A particular advertisement has offered the ultimate solution with one product for getting rid of piles, HIV, diabetes, COVID, Stroke, Cancer etc.
Speaking on the directive from the federal government, he said, “The Federal House of Representatives in Abuja observed the pathetic trend of the exposure of an advertisement on online media advertising platforms and consequently deliberated on the need to regulate online advertising. It has passed a resolution and has directed APCON to effectively monitor and regulate online media advertisements.”
“The resolution passed by the House of Representatives unequivocally directs APCON to ensure that online advertisements conform 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/Restrictions on Practice,” he added.
According to him, APCON’s regulation of online advertisement extends to all advertisements broadcast, published, or expose on any of the digital platforms directed or accessible within Nigeria.
The Advertising Standards Panel has charged us to ensure that advertisements conform to the prevailing laws in Nigeria as well as the
code of ethics of advertising. It follows therefore that the Panel vets and approves all advertisements before exposure and we advise all advertisers, agencies and media platforms to seek the Panel’s approval of any advertisement before exposure.
The code demands that advertisements must be legal, decent, honest, truthful,
respectful and mindful of Nigeria’s culture, constitutional tenets and relevant lawful
In his word “APCON is committed to ensuring that the advertising ecosystem is sanitized and shall not shy away from pursuing all lawful means, including causing the prosecution of violators of the Act and the Code of Advertising Practice when a violation occurs.