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Outrage trails APCON’s move to implement N25,000 fee on all online adverts

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Outrage trails APCON’s move to implement N25,000 fee on all online adverts

The Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) has come under attack from Nigerians on social media over its new directive stating that all Nigerian brands are now required to submit their adverts for vetting and also pay the sum of N25,000 to the Council before placing such advert on social media and websites.

APCON is the governing body that monitors and ensures ethical advertising practice in Nigeria.

According to a letter announcing the new directive signed by the Acting Registrar of the council, Ijedi Iyoha,

“Article 21 and 80 (a) of the Nigerian Code of Advertising Practice, Sales Promotion and Other Rights Restrictions of Practice” quoted in the directive means that APCON’s mandate covers all areas of advertising, including those deployed online.”

According to the new directive, before any Nigerian brand can put up ads online, it needs to first get approval from APCON. And each ad clearance will cost ₦25,000 (~$69) for each ad concept, much like for offline ad clearance.

Failure to adhere to APCON’s directive will attract six months imprisonment or a ₦500,000 (~$1378) fine from the Council.

Some Nigerians didn’t take the directive serious since it was reported in some sections of the media a few weeks ago until a social media user shared a letter from APCON informing a Lagos-based company that it had violated the new directive.

A Twitter user @chandni_lish shared a copy of the letter from APCON dated 4 September, informing a Lagos-based fashion shop of not presenting its online advert for vetting by the Advertising Standards Panel (ASP), a statutory committee of APCON.

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She tweeted:

Some entrepreneurs have condemned the directive saying it would cripple entrepreneurship and send many of them still struggling to survive out of business.

Many also argued that APCON has no right to charge social media adverts because the social media companies are located outside Nigeria.

The founder of Printivo, an online printing company, Oluyomi Ojo took to his verified Twitter to react to the new directive.

He tweeted:

“I have tried not to comment on this APCON vetting thing for digital ads but I think we all have to speak up. It doesn’t make any sense to ask a small business to pay N25,000 to vet an Instagram ad with N15,000 budget. Now if she decides to pay, she has to wait for 3 weeks.

“APCON really need to give this thing a second thought. We cannot continue like this. So we want Fabby Beauty whose only shop is on IG to pay N25k to vet are promoted posts, wait for 3 weeks for get approval or pay accelerated fee of N120k before she can run ads.

“I get it. We are in the presence of people who have never sold ice block before so they don’t know what it takes to actually build a business but a little empathy would have been enough. Now small business are getting served for running Facebook adverts. Ejoooor now.

We serve small businesses at @Printivo and I can tell you it’s not easy for these businesses. I hate to rant but listen, Nigeria needs economic growth more than the government needs to make money.”

 

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