Declining business, looming unemployment as advertisers reject FG’s advertising industry standard of practice

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Raheem Akingbolu
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the economy, the media industry and local advertising agencies could experience another downturn if the federal government’s directive on the new contract term, as pronounced by the Advertising Practitioners Council Of Nigeria (APCON), is not allowed to run, APCON Registrar Dr Lekan Fadolapo has predicted.

In an interview with THISDAY on the rejection of the implementation of the new standard of practice by the Association of Advertisers of Nigeria (ADVAN), which advertisers said was an unconstitutional attempt to infringe on the rights of private entities to determine their contractual terms, Fadolapo said the body was attempting, through this action, to weaken the Nigerian economy and frustrate many local businesses.

ADVAN recently issued a statement supporting plans to create a standard of practice for the advertising industry and echoed its desire to be part of any initiative to develop industry best practices, which will facilitate economic and commercial growth, but was quick to point out that the Supreme Court had, in numerous decisions, declared that the raison d’être of freedom of contract is based on public order: that is, – to say that parties of full age and capable of discernment are deemed to enjoy the greatest freedom of contract, and that their contracts, when concluded freely and voluntarily, must be held sacred and be enforced by the courts.

To this end, the industry body as the primary benefactor of advertising services has stated its role and contribution in relation to the Advertising Industry Standard of Practice (AISOP) by regulator n have not been fully integrated, thus declaring the current AISOP to be meaningless. critical elements that protect the rights and interests of the ADVAN community.

“It is the submission of ADVAN and all of its members, that the current AISOP does not serve the collective interest, but rather allows unfair authority by some parties over others and creates an unfriendly business environment,” he said. said the organization.
Reacting to the development, Fadolapo told THISDAY that the directive from the federal government was simple and straightforward and that the development became necessary, following the approval of the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Muhammed, for APCON develops a fair and acceptable working environment in line with federal government reform plans aimed at accelerating the pace of economic recovery from the pandemic, improving gainful employment, revising the institutional and regulatory framework of the Nigerian advertising industry in accordance with best practices.

“It is rather sad that ADVAN has chosen to be a stumbling block in the movement to revive the marketing communications industry and make it strong enough to contribute well to the economy. The government’s position is that terms of engagement must conform to international standards. Over the years, the issue of media debt has remained a recurring development that the government is trying to resolve once and for all. If followed, the new directive will prevent multinational companies to owe their agencies and media companies more than the agreed payment days. It will also encourage the payment of pitch fees to agencies and make local agencies and SMEs viable. Finally, to avoid unnecessary downsizing among agencies, AISOP needs to get buy-in from all stakeholders,” Fadolapo said.

Meanwhile, the Electronic Media Content Owners Association of Nigeria (EMCOAN), Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN) and Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria (OAAN) have declared their full support for the new code of conduct and urged APCON to move forward. with its implementation.

AAAN President Steve Babaeko, while welcoming the development, noted that he could now breathe a sigh of relief, adding that it was long overdue. “He’s a good one coming from APCON; I think it is long overdue. As president of AAAN, these are some of the things that keep me awake, where members are complaining about some of these issues that the law has addressed. I look forward to law enforcement and enforcement,” Babaeko said.

As a major stakeholder in the media delivery ecosystem, EMCOAN said its members have carefully reviewed and reviewed the AISOP policy document and are confident that proper implementation and monitoring will go a long way in charting a positive new path and better opportunities for content owners, other industry stakeholders and the media advertising industry in general.

The association assured APCON that EMCOAN and all of its members will not only comply with these new AISOP guidelines, which ensure best practices and globally accepted standards in the industry, but will also support stakeholder guidance and advertising AISOP benefits to the advertising media/broadcasting industry as a whole.

“EMCOAN will provide Registrar and the APCON team with the necessary support to ensure implementation and compliance with the AISOP Policy within the industry stakeholder base. If there are no serious measures to control violators of the new policy, things will return to “business as usual”, therefore proper guidance, implementation and ongoing evaluation will be essential to ensure the success of the policy. new AISOP guidelines,” he said.
However, a marketing communications specialist, Dr. Jide Johnson, called on APCON to deepen engagement with its stakeholders before implementation to get everyone’s support.

“It is a known fact that the businesses of major players in the marketing communications industry and other vendors working for multinational corporations are in decline following the rising leverage profile of media buying agencies and multinational companies and all stakeholders have consistently called for a proper review of the terms of engagement. That’s why we’re excited about this recent development. However, I think APCON should proceed with caution and deepen the engagement. of its stakeholders as some of the terms may only apply to listed companies and not just any asshole, tom and harry in the Nigerian marketing environment,” Johnson said.

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