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FG set to reform the advertising industry

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By Abiodun Okunloye

Regulator's discard the Advertising Association's claim of impeding its growth.

In its efforts to reform and regulate the advertising sector, the federal government has stated that it will not be deterred by threats or blackmail from any source. In a statement made available, Dr. Lekan Fadolapo, the Director General of the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (AR- CON), discarded the assertion of the Advertising Association of Nigeria (AD- VAN), which says the regulatory agency had been pushing against business growth as stated in the ARCON Act, No. 23 of 2022 that appeared in the Federal Republic of Nigeria Gazette No. 120 of 5th July 2022, Vol. 109, Government Notice No. 87.

ADVAN President Osamede Uwubanmwen recently spoke to a group of journalists, including the Vanguard, and revealed that the association had drafted 50 inquiries challenging the legality of the new advertising law and plans to ask the court to interpret most of the contentious provisions of rules set by ARCON. However, the ARCON DG responded to the ADVAN challenge by emphasising that the laws were established to strengthen the advertising sector and safeguard the interests of all parties involved.

Standard practices need to be set by the advertising regulator.

Contrary to ADVAN’s stance, ARCON argued that the council should be included in agreements between advertisers and other shareholders in advertising. In addition to this clarification, Dr. Fadolapo state that the role of ARCON is to set up acceptable baseline standards of practice for advertising, advertisements, and marketing communications. These guidelines only provide a structure for directing transactions that include stakeholders. The council placed a strong focus on the need for regulatory organisations in a variety of industries to create standards in order to maintain fair practices.

Speaking further, he stated that some ADVAN members who have, over the course of the years, engaged in restrictive regulations with impunity are uneasy with the newly implemented fair-Trade practice framework. They want to continue squeezing other stakeholders for capital while taking advantage of the sector by enacting exploitative policies, which is something they cannot do in other nations. He explained that most of the time, they adhere to payment policies in other marketplaces but refuse to do the exact same thing in Nigeria.

Foreign advertisements result in job loss and a drop in revenue.

The council claimed that some members were fighting against the fair trade practice framework because it would restrict them from engaging in exploitative business practices. ADVAN again expressed its disapproval of ARCON’s thinking on local content policy and the prohibition of imported models. However, according to the governing body, Nigeria and Nigerians would benefit from advertisements if they adhered to the local content policy. It was stated that the strategy would mandate a minimum percentage of local content in all commercials, urging businesses to feature Nigerians prominently.

Also, the ARCON DG spoke out against companies that depend heavily on foreign advertising, saying they are responsible for Nigeria’s loss of jobs and Revenue. The council defended its involvement with ADVAN in the evaluation of the ARCON statute by saying that it sought and received feedback from a wide variety of interested parties and the general public. The council went on to explain that the National Assembly held a public hearing on the matter and that ADVAN representatives attended and presented both oral and written material.

It promises not to compromise its standard for industry growth.

Lastly, while the head of ADVAN stated that his organisation had no hand in drafting the Legislation in response to its allegation that they were not participating in the law review process, ARCON argued that the public record proves otherwise. According to the statement, learning that ADVAN feels disengaged is unexpected. In light of this, ARCON restated its position as the industry regulator and stated that it would not compromise before any organisation or stakeholder that poses a threat to the advertising industry’s continued success.


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