To sanitize the business, the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) has announced that it will start enforcing the digital advertising regulations fully on unvetted digital content on March 1, 2023.
This means that it will start sanctioning skit creators, comedians, influencers, content creators/producers, bloggers, vloggers, and others before they release any kind of commercial on social media or other digital channels without pre-exposure permissions.
At an interactive stakeholder session with digital agencies, bloggers, and content creators held at the L’eola Hotel, Maryland, in Ikeja, Lagos, the Director-General of ARCON, Dr. Olalekan Fadolapo, said this.
According to him, there are two different kinds of advertisements that these skit creators display on their platforms. For instance, a skit creator may create an advertisement for himself to display on his own platform or it may be a third-party advertisement for display; in any case, the advertisement must be approved before display. We want everyone to realize that we are all responsible for regulating advertising, he said.
He clarified that the group uses social media and other digital platforms to spread false information, unethical claims, and other violations of the Nigerian Code of Advertising Practice.
He clarified that the Advertising Standard Panel’s (ASP) vetting window is open for 8 hours, 16 hours, and 10 days.
Brand owners, digital agencies, owners of second-tier digital media (such as bloggers, vloggers, influencers, comedians, skit creators, etc.), and other advertising stakeholders in the digital/online media space are required to obtain pre-exposure approval of all advertisements, advertising, and marketing communications in accordance with the Nigerian Code of Advertising by this gathering.
The ARCON Act No. 23 of 2022 and practice. With effect from March 1st, defaulters will be subject to a N500,000 fine for non-compliance, changing the rules of the game.
“I’ll say it again: ARCON does not control social media. Across all platforms, we are regulating marketing, advertising, and advertising communications.
Following that, Charles Odenigbo, a lawyer, provided a thorough explanation of the legal laws relating to advertising regulations and the penalties for breaking them.
According to him, all advertisements, advertising, and marketing communications—aside from obituaries, goodwill messages, public service announcements, and job postings—must be submitted for vetting and receive ASP clearance. Before putting any such advertisements, it is required that all advertisers and agencies get an ASP certificate of permission. In the event of direct media buying, media houses must also request the ASP’s certificate of approval. Sections 34 and 54 of the ARCON Act define violations, whereas item 145 of the Nigeria Code of Advertising Practice deals with sanctions and imposes penalties. You should be aware that specific types of advertisements included in the vetting criteria must also be reviewed before being made available on your platforms.
Also, it has its own penalties. There are four interconnected communities of laws and regulations that will undoubtedly have an impact on you.
No matter what title you have—on-air personality, content producer, content creator, brand owner, etc.—the moment you enter the world of marketing communications, advertising, or advertisement, the new ARCON Act goes into effect, whether you are aware of it or not.