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APCON set to regulate Nigeria’s digital marketing sector

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The Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) is set to regulate the digital media landscape as the Federal Government is working at establishing a regulatory framework for the segment.

The Acting Registrar of APCON, Ijedi Philomena Iyoha, hinted this at the third Africa Leadership Conference, organised by the International Advertising Association (IAA), in Ghana recently.

Mrs Iyoha admitted that the digital revolution has become a major challenge for advertising regulation, adding that government, through APCON and other stakeholders have started making move to put a framework in place to address the abnormal situation.

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The Acting Registrar’s view was delivered during a panel discussion on the theme: “Brand Blocking: Regulations and Threats to Consumer Choices and Goods” —  she maintained that there was nothing like digital when the Nigerian advertising the code was put together hence the need for review.

“Much as I agree that digital is a blessing, I’m concerned about its threat to advertising regulation because of a lot of unregulated messages are being churned out by bloggers and influencers on products to deceive consumers and regulators have almost become helpless,” she said.

Continuing, she said, “There is a code of advertising in Nigeria but it was dated back to many years before the digital revolution. Of course, this is a global phenomenon, but like other countries, Nigeria is set to put a framework in place to check the abuse of the digital platform.”

On the first day of the conference, the IAA Global President, Srinivasan K. Swarmy, expressed concern that data privacy had become a serious concern for advertisers and that the industry could collapse if the recent regulations on the issue are not revised.

He argued that data protection issues based on digital advertising needed urgent attention before more stringent regulations are passed.

“Considering data privacy, it has been an area of serious concern for advertisers. Many regulators are coming to play to deal with this area. This challenge, if not addressed, must be addressed, will be a problem for advertising companies”, he stated.

Also speaking at the conference, the Vice president and Area Director of Africa, Norkor Duah, charged all advertising firms to create footprints in the various economies they represent and that practitioners should embrace new trends in technology so as to remain relevant.

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