ARCON Spearheads Major Reforms in Nigerian Advertising Industry


In a bid to revolutionize the landscape of the Nigerian advertising industry, the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (ARCON) has unveiled a comprehensive set of initiatives aimed at promoting transparency, local talent, and sustainable growth. These groundbreaking reforms are set to reshape the industry and pave the way for a more equitable and prosperous future.

Speaking recently at a press conference at the Protea Hotel Ikeja The Director General  of The ADVERTISING REGULATORY COUNCIL OF NIGERIA (ARCON), DR. OLALEKAN FADOLAPO, FCA, fnimn, frpa spoke passionately about his intentional commitment to bringing equity into the Nigerian marketing communications landscape. Below are some excerpts of the

1. Professional Indemnity for Sectoral Groups As part of the ongoing advertising industry reform and the need to strengthen advertising agencies service delivery, build capaci and capabili as well ensure long term stabili in the industry, each sectoral group, i.e. AAAN, EXMAN, MIPAN and OAAN is to provide N1B (One Billion Naira) professional industry insurance cover for its members. This covers professional indemnity for members of their Association as part of the corporate license requirements. The full implementation of the corporate license regime will take effect from April 1, 2024.

 2. Capital Structure, Working Capital, etc. There is an urgent need to review the capital structure and working capital requirement of the advertisement agencies in line with economic realities and capacity building programmes of ARCON. ARCON is currently in talk with the Heads of Advertising Sectoral Groups (HASG) and other relevant stakeholders on the minimum capital requirement for registration and license as an advertisement agency. Regulatory guidelines will be issued as soon a position is taken on this.


3. 45 Days Payment Threshold: ARCON, in collaboration with key government agencies such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), is championing the implementation of a 45-day payment threshold in the advertising sector. This policy aims to combat economic sabotage and ensure timely payments within the industry, thereby safeguarding the interests of stakeholders and fostering financial stability. Globally, payment threshold is a policy in the advertising industry. Some stakeholders have been offering Nigerian media and other service providers 120 days payment circle, thereby impoverishing the Nigerian advertising industry. These same stakeholders prepay foreign media houses operating in Nigeria for media services. Some had insisted on old practices that have led to industry debt and exploitation of media owners. We can no longer allow this to continue.

4. Use of Local Talents: Recognizing the importance of promoting local talent and culture, ARCON has instituted regulations mandating the primary consideration of Nigerian models and voices in advertisements targeting the Nigerian market. Exceptions for foreign talent will only be granted under specific circumstances, subject to formal approval. This initiative seeks to empower Nigerian creatives and enhance cultural representation in advertising campaigns.

5.Data Bank for Advertisement Agencies: ARCON has initiated a national audit of advertisement agencies to establish a comprehensive data bank in line with its statutory obligations. This audit aims to ensure that only licensed agencies are engaged in advertising activities, promoting accountability and professionalism within the industry. The forthcoming directory of advertising agencies will serve as a valuable resource for stakeholders and facilitate informed decision-making.

6.Media Rates Deregulation: In a significant move towards market-driven practices, ARCON reaffirms the deregulation of media rates in the Nigerian advertising industry. This stance underscores the principle of free-market dynamics, emphasizing the autonomy of Nigerian media houses in determining their rates. By fostering a competitive environment, this policy encourages innovation and efficiency while respecting the autonomy of media organizations.

7.Engagement and Disengagement Protocol: ARCON has implemented a stringent engagement and disengagement protocol outlined in the Advertising Industry Standard of Practice (AISOP). This framework ensures fair and transparent procedures for agency engagements and disengagements, mitigating potential conflicts and promoting ethical conduct within the industry. Violations of these protocols will be subject to investigation and appropriate sanctions.

8.Publication of ARCON Register of Practitioners: To combat illegal advertising practices and enhance regulatory oversight, ARCON will publish its membership register following a comprehensive review process. This measure aims to promote transparency and accountability among practitioners, safeguarding the integrity of the advertising profession and protecting the interests of stakeholders.

9.Stoppage of Imported Advertisement in Nigeria: ARCON advocates for the localization of advertisement production to stimulate economic growth and job creation within Nigeria. By discouraging the importation of advertisements, ARCON seeks to bolster domestic industries, empower local talent, and retain capital within the Nigerian economy. Heavy taxation on imported advertisements aims to incentivize domestic production and support indigenous businesses.

10.National Policy on Out-of-Home (OOH) Advertising: ARCON, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, is developing a comprehensive regulatory framework for out-of-home (OOH) advertising. This initiative aims to standardize practices, enhance accountability, and promote sustainable growth within the OOH advertising sector. Industry participation will be solicited to ensure the framework reflects the diverse needs and perspectives of stakeholders.

Throwing more light on these landmark advancements, the DG when asked if the reason why most production houses on the behest of their clients move their productions abroad for the sake of quality and global standard equipment isn’t a good enough reason, he emphasized that Nigerian studios are equal to the task and there have been training and retraining partnerships with various sectoral groups to achieve this purpose. He urged industry stake holders to understand that it would not be business as usual where foreign agency Creative Directors would be given premium priorities over and above Nigerian creative directors.He also stated that new dynamics in the (Out of Home)OOH Sector has necessitated the steps to regulate and engage more with operators in the system in order to protect consumers and maintain professionalism in that sector since technology has overridden some models of engagement in the past. .

In conclusion,ARCON's visionary reforms represent a pivotal moment for the Nigerian advertising industry, signaling a transformative shift towards transparency, accountability, and local empowerment. These initiatives underscore ARCON's commitment to fostering a vibrant and sustainable advertising ecosystem that benefits all stakeholders. With the support of industry players and regulatory agencies, with these antecedents ARCON is poised to usher in a new era of prosperity and innovation in Nigerian advertising.



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