The Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria has called on stakeholders to engage in meaningful conversation that would improve business framework and standard of practice to move the industry forward.
The Director-General of ARCON, Dr. Olalekan Fasolapo, made the call at the opening ceremony of the 2022 National Advertising Conference on Wednesday in Abuja.
The two-day conference, with the theme: “The Marketing Communications Industry in Nigeria: The Trends, Challenges and Prospects,” is organised by ARCON.
According to Fasolapo, the 2022 edition of the conference is happening at a time the regulatory framework is going through some fundamental changes, which aimed at improving the practice and business of advertising in Nigeria.
He said: “The repealing of the Advertising Practitioners Act which establish ARCON happened this year.
“It is not just a name change, but improvement on the duties, mandate and the responsibilities of the regulatory agency.
“This is the first edition of the conference under a new regulatory regime and promises to be educative and insightful.
“This year’s theme is timely and could not have happened at a better time, as you are all aware that our industry is threatened.
“There is a growing trend within and outside the industry that the business and practice of advertising are on the decline.
“In other to arrest this decline is the performance standard and restore confidence and respect in the advertising practice.
“This conference therefore provides an opportunity to discuss the current and future needs and challenges of our industry.
“I employ all stakeholders to be frank in their discussions and contributions so that at the end of the discussion, we will take meaningful decision that will move our industry forward.”
The ARCON boss explained that his Council, in collaboration with all stakeholders, had taken up the responsibility to interrogate the body of knowledge called advertising, as well as improve the business framework and standard of practice.
Fasolapo appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari; Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; National Assembly, especially Chairmen of Committees on Information, National Orientation and ethics; and many others for their support towards the establishment of the Council.
The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Malam Muhammad Bello, said the vision of ARCON was specially relevant and timely as the 2023 election drew near.
Bello explained that political advertising was a significant part of the campaign, adding that the tendency of the advertisers to go overboard and cross several ethical lines was a factor that could not be overlooked.
He said: “You therefore have the responsibly to ensure that in the course of the campaign, messages capable of undermining the democratic and electioneering process or even the unity and stability of the country are not allowed into the public arena.
“The theme of the conference is germane and timely as it seeks to closely look at the industry in all its ramifications.
“The role of marketing communication industry for the growth of business and by extension, the Nigerian economy cannot be over stated.
“Your professional expertise, perhaps more than ever, is required at this point in time, considering the current economically challenging times that is not limited to Nigeria alone.
“It is our expectation that at the end of the conference, far reaching decisions will be taken on how best to position the industry for sustainable growth and development and ultimately for the benefit of the people of Nigeria.
“We pledge the support of the Federal Capital Territory Administration to ARCON as you strive to actualise your mandate.”
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Bello was represented at the event by the Director, Department of Outdoor Advertising and Signage of the FCT, Babagana Adam.
NAN reports that while Henry Adigum gave a presentation on the topic: “State of the Economy,” Ronan Redmond talked about: “The advertising Industry-Total Size, Data and others.”
NAN also report that the event brought together stakeholders from the advertising industry across the country.