The Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) has condemned the publication of online advertisement without its approval. APCON has been struggling to regulate online advertisement by companies, as Google, Facebook and the regulators of adverts in the digital era have been the beneficiaries.

APCON said it would no longer be business as usual for companies that expose their communication materials or products without following due process. In Nigeria, APCON is in charge of regulating the advert space and approving adverts for promotion of products and services.

However, the regulator seems to have been losing advert fees and its authority to the tech companies as digital adverts become more popular. APCON, however, still controls the traditional media channels – Newspaper, Television, Radio, and Billboards.

APCON to regulate Social media adverts

In a statement, APCON disclosed that it was applying “zero tolerance on the exposure of adverts on any social media platform.” According to the government agency, all companies must ensure they operate in line with the Nigerian Code of Advertising Practice, Sales Promotion and other Rights Restrictions of Practice’s Articles 21 and 80 (a) which state, “all communication materials regardless of the medium to be exposed must duly be vetted by APCON before such content is exposed to the public.”

The Acting Registrar of APCON, Ijedi Philomena Iyoha, said the regulatory body wanted to start regulating adverts before they are published or broadcasted on social media.

The Problem with APCON: The following are reasons many advertisers or companies are avoiding APCON.

  • APCON’s process is long and time-consuming.
  • Only certified advertising practitioners can apply to post adverts.
  • All applications must be sent for APCON’s Advertising Standards Panel to consider.
  • APCON panel meets twice a month.
  • It cost N25,000 ($68.87) for your advert to be vetted.
  • To have your advert vetting accelerated, you will pay between N150,000 ($413) and N280,000 ($771).