APCON Dissociates Self From Attributed Publication, Soft-pedals On Social Media Regulations

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APCON

The Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) has dissociated itself from an online publication alleging that APCON has thrown its weight behind the Western Nigeria Security Network (WNSN) codenamed Operation Amotekun.

According to APCON, the organization has never thrown it weight behind the outfit, and has never urged other regions in the country to emulate the Southwest by coming up with similar initiatives.

The organization further said that the statement which was reported to have been made by a Publicity Secretary with the name of Adewunmi Abiola “is not only false but also an inconceivable act to bring APCON into disrepute.”

The statement reads, “APCON does not have any staff called Adewunmi Abiola nor does it operate an office of a Publicity Secretary. We therefore calls on the general public to disregard the statement as having been made or endorsed by it.”

APCON is strictly a Federal Government Parastatal statutorily established to regulate advertising in Nigeria and is committed to carry out its mandates within the confines of the enabling Act and no further.

In a related development, the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) may have finally jettisoned the idea of embarking on full scale regulation of advertising activities on the social media platforms.

Recently, APCON had announced in early December last year that it would commence full regulatory functions with regards to advertising activities on the social media starting from January this year.

The announcement by the Council was received with mix feelings resulting in widespread controversy and criticisms by industry stakeholders and commentators on the social media. The development had generated conversations among interest groups in the industry who wondered as to the appropriateness of the Council’s proposal.

But in what seems like an apparent shift away from its earlier hard stand on the issue, the Council has made a denial of the proposal saying it is rather more committed to educating Nigerians on the subject rather than regulate the sector as promised.

Responding recently, the Acting Registrar, Ijedi Iyoha, said  the report about APCON wanting to extend her frontiers to cover social media regulation  was “misinformation” arising from the ignorance and sheer mischief on the part of those she described as “some bloggers who wanted to have a field day.”

While explaining that advertising on social media had always been part of what the Advertising Standards Panel (ASP) was empowered to vet and regulate, the Council boss pointed out that what the Council was currently doing was to educate the public more while carrying on with its responsibilities.

She maintained that advertisements on the social media have always been within the scope of regulatory mandate that is vested on the APCON, adding that the Council had been doing that for a very long time.

“Perhaps, it was ignorance or sheer mischief on the part of some bloggers who want to have a field day that resulted in the misinformation about APCON attempting to expand her frontiers to cover social media,” she said adding, “what we are doing is to educate the public more while carrying on with our responsibilities”.

She continued: “Advertising on social media has always formed part of what the ASP is empowered to vet and regulate and we have been doing that for a long time. Advertisements on social media have always been within our scope of regulatory mandate.”

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