TechInAfrica – APCON, the governing body that monitors and ensures ethical advertising practice in Nigeria, had its statutory committee released a directive, which states that all Nigerian brands are now required to “fulfill all necessary obligations” by the Council before placing their adverts on the digital space, social media and websites included.
The development was shared by a Twitter user, showing the directive from the Advertising Standards Panel (ASP).
The directive, which quoted “Article 21 and 80 (a) of the Nigerian Code of Advertising Practice, Sales Promotion and Other Rights Restrictions of Practice” means that APCON’s mandate covers all areas of advertising, and online advertisements are no exception, according to Ijedi Iyoha, the Acting Registrar of the council.
Iyoha didn’t elaborate further on the monitoring and vetting mechanism of the online adverts, saying “That’s our own internal mechanism; I don’t have to tell you how we’re going to do it.”
Before any Nigerian brand can put their ads online, it will have to get APCON’s approval, with each clearance costing ₦25,000 (~$69) per ad concept, which is similar to the offline ones.
“If you have one ad for instance, and you’re going to expose it in more than one language, you’re going to pay for the number of languages you’re translating it into. Also, if you have one ad and you’re going to change the model, even if you’re advertising water and you’re using different models, you’re going to pay for each of those models,” Iyoha said.
So what happens when these brands fail to adhere to the laws?
Offenders are either fined with ₦500,000 (~$1378) or receive a 6 month prison time from the Council.
For now, only registered advertising practitioners with the Council are allowed to place their ads online, according to the APCON executive. APCON has already written to a couple of brand managers, advertising firms, manufacturers, and practitioners in the industry about this regulation, and now it’s these industrialists’ job to educate their clients and bill the fee into whatever they’re charging them.
As of now, APCON might be considering small business owners who advertise online to be included in their list of adverts approval.