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Not Regulating To Strangulate The Industry -ARCON DG

At the recently held Advertising Standards Panel (ASP) Stakeholders’ Forum at Sheba Event Centre, Ikeja Lagos. The Director-General of the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) Dr. Olalekan Fadolapo stated that the current reforms in advertising industry are not to strangulate the industry but to avoid massive casualties in future.

Dr. Fadolapo mentioned that the forum was put together by the ASP, a statutory organ of ARCON to engage industry stakeholder on responsible advertising as regards statutory regulations to avoid security challenges that could arise out of irresponsible communications.

He noted that the one-day event was not the end of the conversation but a continuous one, in his words, “Although this may be a one-day event, the forum is a continuous conversation. We are poised to enhance the level of compliance in advertising with continuous conversations. If you still want to get answers or more clarity, we are available.”

He further extended appreciation to all attendees including some top guns in the industry like, Alhaji Bello Kankarofi, former APCON Registrar; Idorenyen Enang, President of the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria (NIMN); Osamede Uwubanmwen, President of Advertisers Association of Nigeria (ADVAN); Tolulope Medebem, President, Experiential Marketers Association of Nigeria (EXMAN) among other personalities in attendance at the event.

Barr. Charles Odenigbo, a legal expert elaborated on compliance with the ethical code and law of advertising. He said, “Ignorance of the law is not an excuse, when you are in doubt, consult a lawyer”.

“We have to leave this place with the knowledge that unwholesome advertisement, advertising and marketing communication must be brought to an end in this country. The digital platforms and traditional media (newspapers) are not excluded. The advertisers are the ones that stand to benefit mostly and the media, and the advertisers are the greatest beneficiaries, but the media and the advertisers are the greatest violators. I hope that before we leave this place today, we will address this matter.”

The event featured keynote presentations by DG of ARCON alongside two female industry players. Following Dr. Fadolapo’s keynote address was the presentation by Martha Ugbomma Onyebuchi, Director of Regulations, ASP on “Nigerian Code of Advertising: Vetting Processes and Procedures” and the other paper presented by Omwunmi Owodunni, Chairperson, ASP on “ Ethical Advertising Practice: Things to Avoid in Marketing Communications”.

The Forum allowed for stakeholders’ questions and answers during the panel session, where professionals including Omowunmi Owodunni, ASP Chairperson; Martha Onyebuchi, Director of Regulations, ASP; Yinka Adebayo, Group Executive Director at Omnicom Media Group, Dr. Emmanuel Agu, a marketing Expert and the moderators; Babs Fagade and Funmibi Fayo-Adeleye dissected key issues on ethical advertising practices, compliance, vetting processes and procedures of code of advertising.

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