National Assembly directs APCON to regulate digital advertising

National Assembly

The National Assembly has impressed on the management of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) the need to regulate advertising within the digital space.

This followed several petitions by concern Nigerians over unwarranted contents being shared across different social media platforms.

Speaking on this development in Lagos recently, the Registrar/Chief Executive of APCON, Dr. Lekan Fadalopo said, “how will a mother feel seeing her ten-year-old boy or girl watching adverts on breast and pennis enlargement on the social media through his or her phones? Or a traditional medicine advertiser claiming his drug is capable of curing over 200 diseases.”

According to him, the position of APCON about indiscriminate advert placements in the social media space is to sanitise the system and make advertisements conform with the laid-down rules and regulations.

He said APCON has received many petitions about the types and nature of adverts being placed in the social media space, adding that, many people are bloggers and influencers offering themselves, their services, blogs and media handles as platforms for products and services to be advertised on without recourse to accepted principles and ethics of the advertising practice.

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“The sharp increase in violation and infraction of the Nigerian Code of Advertising is not only worrisome but also portends danger. APCON has been inundated with by petitions over unethical advertisements exposed on the online media platforms targeting Nigeria market by both the primary and secondary digital media platform owners.”

Sadly, he continued, “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.”

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Fadolapo affirmed that APCON is well-armed to effortlessly regulate the space with the help of the Federal House of Representatives which has observed the pathetic trend of the exposure of advertisements on online media advertising platforms and consequently deliberated on the need to regulate online advertising.

“To help APCON carry out this obligation successfully therefore, the legislators have 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.”

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