War in Nigeria’s advertising industry as associations split over practice guidelines

The bodies said the effective date for AISOP implementing is October 6, the date of pronouncement by the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON).

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The Advertisers Association of Nigeria (ADVAN) has rejected the implementation of the new Advertising Industry Standard of Practice (AISOP) guidelines.

On Monday, Heads of Ad agencies announced the new regulations in a joint statement.

The signatories include the President, Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN), Steve Babaeko; President, Media Independent Practitioners Association of Nigeria (MIPAN), Femi Adelusi.

Others were President, Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria (OAAN), Emmanuel Ajufo and President, Experiential Marketers Association of Nigeria (EXMAN), Tunji Adeyinka.

The bodies said the effective date for AISOP implementing is October 6, the date of pronouncement by the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON).

But ADVAN said it makes an unconstitutional attempt to infringe on the rights of private entities to determine their contractual terms.

In a statement on Tuesday, ADVAN Acting President, Bunmi Adeniba said ADVAN is supportive of the plan to create a Standard of Practice.

Adeniba, however, noted that the Supreme Court had, in many decisions, pronounced that the rationale for freedom of contract is founded on public policy.

This means parties of full age and competent understanding are deemed to have the utmost liberty of contracting, and that their contracts when entered freely and voluntarily must be held sacred and be enforced by courts of law.

Adeniba said as principal benefactors of advertising services, ADVAN’s input in AISOP was yet to be fully onboarded.

“The guidelines are void of critical elements that protect the rights and interest of the ADVAN community”, she declared.

Adeniba insisted that the guidelines do not serve collective interest, but rather permits unfair authority of certain parties over others and creates an unfriendly business framework.

“It portrays a clear indication of discriminatory standards where the AISOP document in section 5 sub section b (Discounts and Commissions) states that:“No party will unilaterally dictate or impose rates on another party except as may be mutually agreed by upon by the parties.

“However, in the summary submitted to the press,there is a clause that states: “Media rates may be increased at any time provided that at least 30 days’ notice is given prior to implementation”.

“Latter of which was not included on original documents, further portraying an inconsistency in expectation.

“ADVAN requests that in all instances, the condition of a mutually agreed terms by both parties be upheld and not only as it applies to expectations from Advertisers.”

The statement said the government has a specific and critical role in supporting industry development by providing fair and enabling legislation and guidelines for ethical business practices.

The association demanded that the involvement should not overrule the constitutional rights of business entities to conduct legitimate business activities.

“The perception of a discriminatory regulatory system will be counterproductive to the collective objective of creating a conducive business environment”, Adeniba added.

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