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Social Media Advert: APCON To Regulate Digital Creative Agencies

The Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) has declared its intentions to commence full regulation of digital creative agencies in its targeted bid aimed at stemming the rising trend of exposure of unwholesome advertiments across the social media space.

The Council said in addition, it is to embark on inspection of advertising agency operations, especially those with foreign affiliations and ensure that agency operatives complied to local content  legislative requirements. 

Registrar of the Council, Dr Olalekan Fadolapo who made the ascertions recently said exposure of offensive and unwholesome advertisements through the social media had assumed worrisome dimensions and, accordingly, to stem the trend, the council is considering the necessity of expanding its regulatory mechanism to cover digital creative agencies whom he described as, creators of advert materials that are exposed on social media.

Registrar of the Council, Dr Olalekan Fadolapo

 Reacting to questions of foreign firms domination of the advertising industry business landscape as against local agencies, he said the council is taking necessary steps to reverse the trend, as it will embark soon on review of  Nigeria’s content laws and ensure it aligns with advertising industry needs.

He explained that APCON’s provisions on the subject presupposes that for any company to operate in Nigeria, Nigerians must own 75 percent of the shares, and to that extent, the council is will commence inspection of advertising agencies and see to it that agencies with foreign affiliations complied with local content requirements. 

“We are going to review the local content law of Nigeria and see where they can situate our own proposal there. Don’t forget that currently, the APCON law states that any company that is to operate here, Nigerians must own 75 per cent of the shares. We are going to look at that local content law and see ways we could get empowerment from it. We are going to look at how we can collaborate. We would send a letter to all of them. If your agreement before flouts the APCON law, between now and January, clean it up, so that by January next year, APCON will go out as inspectors to all the agencies with foreign affiliations”.

The Council boss further explained that, just as it is the case with many  governmental agencies, APCON was caught unawares by social media phenomenon, adding that the exposure of offensive advertisements was highly prevalent in the era when APCON operated without a governing council.

He said while it is impossible to engage  social media space owners in warfare, the Council would rather focus its lenses on regulating digital creative agencies and digital media buyers who are creators of advertiment materials that get exposed on the social media.

“We can only regulate the digital creative agencies or the digital buying agencies. We cannot regulate the digital space owners. But what are we going to do? We need to engage the social media space owners. We are going to identify and take a pitch to them” 

“We will not engage them in warfare because we want to regulate. We will sit everybody down and ask questions, we will plead with them. It is going to be a win-win situation. It’s not because we have the Federal might behind us. What we want to do is to sit down with each and every one of them and discuss where the infractions are coming from” he said.

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