The Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) is set to impose N25,000 ($69.18) vetting cost on all online advertisements. This is in a bid to tackle the continuous exposure of adverts on the social media platform that didn’t receive the permission of the body.
APCON is a regulatory body established under the Nigerian constitution Act No.55, 1988 as amended by Act No.1992 and Act No. 116 of 1993. It is empowered with the right to administer regulatory functions on all advert content and press releases in Nigeria.
APCON, which overtime regulates advert on the traditional media observed that certain brands expose their communication materials on digital platforms without due diligence to the body. They, therefore, released a statement clarifying the notion that online ads are not to be vetted. The statement reaffirms the stand of Advertising Standard Panel (ASP) on digital space advert while imploring advertising stakeholders to beware, as red herring brands will face a sanction of nearly N 500 000.
The body also reiterated its regulatory power on ads placed in various online platforms like Youtube, Facebook, Instagram amidst others.
Online Advertisers and digital marketers in Nigeria took to twitter to react adversely to this new development. A lot of digital marketers referred to the decision as unscrupulous and unnecessary.
APCON has been trying to get online platforms to comply with the local advertising law since 2013, but this has proven difficult. Former APCON Chairman, Lolu Akinwumi said the body faced challenges in regulating online adverts due to the lack of proper monitoring tools. He stated that the company is in discussion with Google to address this issue.
APCON advert vetting covers the advertisement of different consumable and durable products. Adverts go through pre-exposure and approval before releasing to consumers.
Vetting Requirements for Advertisement
Requirements for vetting ads include; a formal application letter addressed to the APCON Registrar, the APCON registration number, Product’s NAFDAC and Standard Organization of Nigeria’s certificate. It also entails the client’s authorization of the advertised letter and the material being advertised.
The vetting procedure is seemingly cumbersome and might take so long because the regulatory body only meets twice in a month, compared to online verification processes that are very swift.
APCON’s current Registrar, Mrs Ijedi Iyoha, however, said that the decision will help the body to curb the promotion of unregulated messages and products used to deceive consumers by bloggers and online influencers.
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