In a recent turn of events, Dr. Olalekan Fadolapo, the Director General of the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) has issued a response challenging the Advertisers’ Association of Nigeria (ADVAN) on the attacks over his administration’s industry reforms. He stated that it was more of a personal attack on his person as ADVAN wants him to step down.
The ARCON DG made it clear in a statement that the attacks started again immediately after his reappointment as the Director General of the apex regulatory body. According to him, this was the third time ADVAN was threatening to take ARCON to court over industry reforms.
The DG mentioned that ADVAN wrote to ARCON in March 2023 stating that they would be taking the council to court but they never did.
“In May, after the election and inauguration of President Tinubu, they wrote to ARCON again but ADVAN never made good on their word. Again, in October, minutes after my reappointment as the DG of ARCON, ADVAN wrote to ARCON stating that they would be taking up the regulatory council to court.”
According to the DG, up until the time of his making a public statement, just like previous times, ARCON had not yet gotten a court summons informing them of any court case.
“They want me to step down so that they can have a field day. Yes, it is an attack on my person because they thought I would not be returned as the DG. They already said we are done with him. As soon as he’s out, we will revisit the reform. The committee for the reform had a former president of ADVAN on it as a member. I didn’t sit down at my table and make a reform. The recommendations of the committee was passed to us. They said they are taking us to court but till today we have not seen any means of summon.
“They came to me and told me that we will stop all these, just drop the reform. How will I explain that to Nigerians? I have made a presentation to my minister, Alhaji Mohammed Idris and he said, don’t go back on any reform. The minister gets updates on this reform. So it is difficult for me to go back and say bring foreign media, suspend Nigerian production, owe media houses anyhow. In the whole ecosystem, it is a only ADVAN that has come against it.”
Dr. Fadolapo further stated that the reforms are necessary to protect consumers and to ensure that the advertising industry in Nigeria is well-regulated.
When asked if there are chances of engagement and resolution between both parties, he responded, “Our doors are open. We are the regulators. We are not regulating to strangulate. We are regulating to know the industry and we are taking serious cognisance of the economic variable. Advertising is an enabler to the economy. If they request for a meeting, we will grant them. But you will not come to us and say suspend the reform let us continue to dominate the media.”
The advertising sector in Nigeria is presently experiencing a heated and disputed conflict between ARCON and ADVAN. This dispute has led to increased tensions regarding reforms within the industry.
ADVAN, under the leadership of President Osamede Uwubanmwen, has taken legal action against ARCON, alleging a breach of constitutional and legal rights. However, ARCON maintains that the reforms are aimed at promoting growth and development within the sector.