By Godwin Anyebe
The Acting Registrar/CEO of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), Ijedi Iyoha, has shed light on reasons why the Council introduced the corporate licensing regime to Nigeria’s advertising industry, saying that the policy was part of ongoing reforms aimed at improving upon value delivery, both at the domestic and international advertising levels.
Speaking to newsmen recently in Lagos, she disclosed that the purpose of initiating the corporate licensing was to review entry qualifications into the profession, register domestic and international participation and to ensure that registered practitioners receive the first option in employment considerations.
According to her, the licensing regime would help ultimately in promoting local content, and in addition, ensure that proper sanctions are given when and where necessary, especially in financial transactions in the industry and to promote research.
“Corporate Licensing as introduced by APCON stipulates that all categories of advertising organisations as listed in the APCON Code that engages in the business and practice of advertising for the purpose of gains or project shall be licensed by APCON (with the exclusion of Advertisers), and all agencies have to apply for and obtain practice license from APCON to legalise the operations of the advertising agency or organisation. Without the license, the business of the agency will become illegal,” she emphasised.
She noted that the council had recorded great achievements in its regulation of the affairs of Nigeria’s advertising industry, pointing out that the compliance level to APCON’s guidelines, rules and regulations are very high amongst registered advertising practitioners.
“Where we record a high level of defaults are amongst those who engage in advertising quackery. We are working assiduously to rid the industry of such persons through proper education or sensitisation. In cases of defiance or recalcitrance, we are compelled to seek for the prosecution of such persons,” she said.
Mrs Iyoha further observed that APCON operations are presently hampered by a number of negative factors, including the absence of a Governing Council, inadequate funding and lack of physical presence in every State of the Federation.
“The Council may well not be able to radically address the issues in its present circumstance; however, with resources available and at our disposal, determined not to be deterred. However, we are working with dexterity to discharge our statutory mandates in the areas we can”, she added.