Despite the unyielding stance of the Federal Government to constitute a governing council for the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), the current leadership at the regulatory body has continued to forge ahead with reformation. Raheem Akingbolureports.
Barely four months after the inauguration of a new Advertising Industry Standard of Practice (AISOP), the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), has announced that the regulatory body would be introducing a new vetting regime from 1st of April this year to further strengthen professionalism.
Speaking in Lagos at the induction of 63 distinguished advertising practitioners as fellows of the profession, the Registrar of the council, Dr Lekan Fadolapo revealed that APCON would be boosting the welfare of its members by starting up with a Life Insurance package for fellows of the council.
For the pragmatic steps being taken by APCON leadership without a governing council, stakeholders have hailed the new leadership for its pro-activeness. APCON’s last council, headed by Udeme Ufot, was inaugurated on March 5, 2015, and dissolved in July 2015, by the Buhari administration. Since its dissolution, mum has been the word on the part of the APCON supervising ministry.
Surviving against the odds
This notwithstanding, the new leadership at APCON seems to have resolved that lack of council should not stop urgent industry issues from being implemented. One of such issues, he stated, was the Advertising Standards Panel (ASP), which was last inaugurated ten years ago, and another being the fellowship of the practice.
According to Fadolapo, the fellowship induction was therefore part of his plans at ensuring that those issues he met on ground on assumption of office, on September 1, 2020, were quickly attended to, before they began to take their tolls on the practice.
“Induction was done 10 years ago, that means if you are 50 years now, you’ll be close to retirement, since 65 is the retirement age, and that leaves little or no time for such individuals to be active fellows, and also impact on the business of advertising,” he had said.
While expressing his delight at the event, the APCON’s boss expressed optimism that the fellowship induction would provide the opportunity for the new fellows to contribute their quota to the development of the profession.
“In the course of my two-and-a-half decades in this industry, I have known each of the inductees personally and I have worked with virtually every one of them in different capacities and can, therefore, attest to the fact that none of the fellows inducted today lacked the professional aptitude to be designated as such.
“I am optimistic that with the status that comes with your elevation in the advertising industry, you will diligently represent the profession in all progressive ramifications and resourcefully apply your position to promote the best interest of the profession,” he stated.
While assuring the inductees of APCON’s readiness to provide practitioners a conducive business and professional grounds that would ensure the growth of the business in Nigeria, Fadolapo however charged practitioners to be ethical in their dealings and ensure they work within the rules guiding advertising practice in the country.
He disclosed that as a way of enhancing the growth of the practice, and ensuring advertising is conducted in an ethical manner without compromising best practices, the agency had introduced some reforms to complement the prevailing regulations.
One of such reforms, Fadolapo added, is the latest Advertising Industry Standard of Practice (AISOP), introduced last year, with the aim of providing a minimum standard for business engagement in the industry.
Task before new fellows
Speaking at the event, the Chairman of the 2021 APCON Fellowship Committee, Mr. Bankole Ademulegun, expressed delight that the event eventually took place, ten years after having the last one.
He also congratulated the inductees for meeting the stringent conditions set by the committee, thereby making history as the next set of fellows of the practice.
A fellow of the institute and former Chairman of Zenith Bank, Sir Steve Omojafor, charged the inductees with the responsibility of ensuring that advertising and marketing communications industry in Nigeria excel.
While stressing the need for the new inductees to always comply with the laws and regulations guiding the practice, the marketing professional also urged the new fellows to render every necessary support to APCON, especially in the area of training and professional development of the younger ones.
Congratulating the new inductees while delivering his opening address at the Fellowship Induction ceremony, APCON Registrar, Dr. Lekan Fadolapo disclosed that the inductees met all the stipulated requirements by law and have attained the highest and distinguished class in the profession.
He stated: “In the course of my two-and-a-half decades in this industry, I have known each of the inductee personally and I have worked with virtually every one of them in different capacities and therefore I can attest that none of the fellows inducted today lacked the professional aptitude to be designated as such. I am proud to affirm that all of them are eminently qualified to be in the category which they are today made to be.”
The regulator urged the inductees to continually promote the ideals of the profession even as he pledged his unflinching determination to support practitioners by making the business and practice of advertising favourable to all stakeholders.
Elated, the inductees expressed appreciation for the distinguished honour, which represented recognition of their professionalism and impact over the years.
Some of the practitioners who were honoured include; Lanre Adisa, Steve Babaeko, Jenkins Alumona, Temitope Jemerigbe and Celey Okogun, among others