APCON Registrar Announces Growth Strategies for Advertising Industry

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Raheem Akingbolu
The Registrar and Chief Executive of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria, (APCON) Dr. Olalekan Fadolapo, has unveiled some of his plans on regulating and uplifting the standard of advertising practice in Nigeria.

Some of his plans include industry reform, solving tax related issues, copyright issues, agencies pitching for government communications jobs, among others. He revealed these at the reception organised to honour him. The event was organised by multiple award-winning frontline brands and marketing publication, Brand Communicator in collaboration with the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN).

Similarly, Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) practitioners tasked APCON to ensure that it adheres to growth based regulations that will help strengthen the industry rather than killing the industry businesses.
Commenting on the state of regulation in the country, Olalekan said:“Nigeria is the only country in Africa that practices double regulatory system as at today; we have the government regulatory system and self-regulatory system.

In other market, it is purely self-regulation. The sectoral group comes together they outline best business practices, they sign MoU and it becomes a law, but in Nigeria we always find it difficult to conclude that process.”
Therefore, he said that, he was working on how to bring the sectoral group to work together, in the interest of having an industry all can be proud of.

On the industry reform, “Again the industry reform has been a major challenge. The industry reform can create jobs, the industry reform will improve the Internal Generated Revenue (IGR) of APCON and the government, and it will help us stabilise our industry. I spoke to the president of all the sectoral groups and they all agreed we need to go ahead with the industry reform,” he explained.

He added that the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, had already approved it but there are some challenges that need to be taken care of before the industry review is fully implemented which include court cases.
Meanwhile, it is in talk with the National Assembly and the bill is set for the second reading, stating that, “APCON is here to regulate and not to kill the industry. We are not regulating to strangulate, and we are regulating to bring the best out of every one of us”

In another vein, he said he was in talks with Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and they planned to set up help desk for advertising industry to listen and ensure that issues that relate to the industry are resolved, adding that some of the issues are double taxation; application of withholding tax and others. He said those that do not practice advertising may not understand the fundamentals, stating that the withholding tax should be applied on the net income.
He added that the sectoral groups have already sent their report to APCON and it will be meeting with FIRS soon on some of the tax related challenges its members are facing.

Another issue he pointed out was the issue of copyright the industry is facing. He said the DG of Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) told him that most of the issues of copyright at the court can be resolved at industry level. “Today, APCON is talking to NCC on the possibility of setting up a help desk for agencies that need advice on ownership of copyright and copyright issues. We will be organising a webinar soon and the DG has agreed to speak on this issue.”
In another vein, he stated, “One of the major projects of the government is the digital switchover; APCON has been requested to manage the audience measurement aspect of the digital switchover.”