The Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria, APCON has commenced a task force enforcement exercise to stop further exposure of unwholesome and unapproved advertisements in the media.
The exercise, which commenced in Abuja has so far been carried out in Minna, Jos, Katsina Ilorin, Onitsha/Nnewi and is planned to extend to several other cities across Nigeria.
In the course of the exercise, advertisements exposed on outdoor structures without satisfying the regulation requiring advertisements to be submitted for vetting and approval by the Advertising Standards Panel (ASP) will be blanked out.
The exercise also involves enlightening advertisers, media owners and the public on the regulatory responsibilities of APCON as well as on the purpose and procedures for compliance with advertising regulations.
Incidences of indiscriminate exposure of advertisements, some of which contain misleading and unwholesome messages, have caused APCON serious concern. These unprofessional conducts have been traced mainly to persons and organizations who are not licensed to practise Advertising in Nigeria.
A large percentage of the advertisements targeted in the exercise are first party advertisements usually produced and displayed by business owners without the use of advertising professionals.
The advertisements typically employ graphic designs, images and messaging which attract, persuade or invite patronage for the businesses advertised. Some of them make claims requiring substantiation.
The exercises do not affect regular business signages which are typically identification or informational signs without persuasive illustrations and claims.
The task force enforcement exercise is one of the measures to stem incidences of misleading, deceitful, offensive and other forms of spurious messages and protect members of the public from the harmful effects of such unwholesome and unprofessional advertisements. The exercise complements the Council’s routine monitoring and enforcement activities undertaken by its various zonal and liaison offices across the country.
APCON is committed to ensuring responsible advertising – the use of advertising communication to positively impact the economy and the society, rather than to take undue advantage of consumers, disparage competitors or offend the sensibilities of members of the public.