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By Raheem Akingbolu
The Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria (OAAN) has enjoined Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) to come to its rescue in solving myriads of problems presently encountered by its members as they are beyond the scope of the outdoor advertising body.
Specifically, OAAN an umbrella body of all registered out-of-home advertising practitioners said the industry is today plagued by a plethora of challenges which can only be confronted head-on by a regulatory agency of government like APCON.
In a statement issued in Lagos, the association pointed out challenges, which include; Lagos State Signage Advertising Agency (LASAA) active involvement in real outdoor practice; indiscriminate endorsement of awards by APCON; multiple taxation and collaboration with APCON to organise out-of-home seminars. Others are national honours and request for more OAAN representation on the APCON council.
Presenting the request at OAAN Board of Trustees/APCON and OAAN Executive meeting held in Lagos recently, chairman, presidential Contact Group, Chief Babu Akinbobola, said the regulatory agency cannot afford to look away and allow LASAA take over their business.
In a one-page presentation before APCON leadership represented by the chairman, Mr. Lolu Akinwunmi, and the registrar, Alhaji Bello Garba Kankarofi, at the exclusive meeting and luncheon, Akinbobola said LASAA officials who are supposed to be regulating the Lagos environment have been globetrotting with a view to getting in touch with OAAN overseas suppliers to do business directly.
Besides, he said LASAA has been installing billboards directly across the state while displaying posters of various business concerns and some government activities.
The committee chairman also lamented various multiple taxes being paid by OAAN members to different regulatory agencies and urged APCON to convene a meeting of various stakeholders to tackle the problem.
The association, which enjoined APCON to develop a policy framework on advertising awards, lamented indiscriminate recognition and endorsement of advertising awards without consideration for sectoral group’s interest.
It frowned at APCON’s alleged endorsement of Billboard Advertising Awards which it has dissociated itself from stating that OAAN was embarrassed that APCON could endorse such an award.
The body, which applauded APCON for its proactive engagement with APCON over the years solicited for more collaboration in the area of training programmes even as it canvassed for more slots on the APCON council.
In his response, the APCON chairman promised a prompt action on the requests especially in the area of calling LASAA and other intransigent state regulatory agencies to order.
The council chairman, who assured OAAN of a redress in some of its perceived challenges, said the on-going reform of advertising practice will, upon completion, resolve some of the hurdles on the way of out-of-home advertising practitioners in the country.
Akinwunmi expressed APCON’s appreciation towards OAAN for its numerous contributions to the regulatory agency, stating that the council will always replicate such gestures by coming to its aid whenever the need arises.
His words: “OAAN has contributed so much to APCON. If there is an APCON that is working, OAAN has been wonderful and helpful and I look forward to the day an OAAN person will become an APCON chairman, as advertising stands on four legs of which out-of-home is a critical arm”, he said.
He disclosed that plans are underway to enlist OAAN representatives to be part of the Federal Government delegates that would be sent to help the Federal Republic of Ghana to regulate its advertising sector.