By Princewill Ekwujuru & Peace Onyeukwu
The Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria, APCON, has taken further step to ensuring that proper measures are put in place before allowing foreigners into Advertising practice in the country.
This decision was reached following the stakeholders concerns over the growing army of unregulated local and foreign advertising practitioners in the country as APCON is expected to put in place appropriate measures to correct lapses and weaknesses within the structure.
Mr. Lolu Akinwunmi, Council Chairman of APCON who disclosed this while briefing newsmen on the decision to review various parts of the advertising laws with a view to ensuring they confirm to global standards and compensate local interests as the body is exercising it’s mandate in ensuring that the advertising profession is allowed to grow and mature within a fair and equitable environment.
Continuing, he said, “it became necessary to consider the current operating rules and environment with a view to ensuring that Advertising like other recognized professions was regulated in such a way as to protect the integrity of the practice and ensure that current regulations were reviewed in line with local interests and global standards”.
According to the Chairman of APCON, the reform among others will include reviewing current entry conditions into the profession as they affect Nigerian and foreign practitioners; To ensure that local and foreign practitioners were properly registered and certified by APCON before being allowed to practice in the country.
To ensure that APCON registered Nigerian professionals are given the first option of consideration in employment by companies for advertising-related positions and functions. To ensure that commercial firms for use in Nigeria were produced in Nigeria, using local production resources even if in certain cases, directors and crew had to be flown in. And addition the stakeholders also opined that such production must use Nigerian models, voice-overs, crew etc.
The stakeholders according to the APCON Chairman said that as witnessed in other countries, no foreigner or foreign group would own a majority stake in any of the components of the industry, and if possible advocate the maximum equity stake that foreigners can hold.
He went on to say that additionally where foreign agencies want to set up, APCON should clearly spell out what percentage of their staff could be foreign, what equity Nigerians could hold and occupy.
The agreement went further to say that APCON should ensure that appropriate sanctions are put in place with the support of the sectorial bodies to stop all parties from reneging on especially financials.
Likewise the stakeholders also advocated a more binding commitment, which would take advantage of the gains of the APCON-sponsored ASCOMDI, APCON’s special committee on media debt issues.