Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) says it will start vetting social media adverts for a regular Fee of N25,000.
According to APCON, all Nigerian brands and advertisers are now required to “fulfil all necessary obligations” by the Council before placing their adverts on the digital space which includes all social media and websites.
“We have a mandate to regulate advertising in all its aspects and ramifications, including online. And now that we have started with social media, it is not anything new, it’s just that we didn’t emphasise it right from time,” the government body further stated in a statement.
This now mean, before any Nigerian brand can put up ads online, it needs to first get approval from APCON. And each ad clearance will cost N25,000 (~$69) for each ad concept, much like for offline ad clearance. If you want accelerated vetting, you pay higher as indicated in their letter.
If you have one ad for instance, and you’re going to expose it in more than one language, you’re going to pay for the number of languages you’re translating it into.
Also, if you have one ad and you’re going to change the model, even if you’re advertising water and you’re using different models, you’re going to pay for each of those models.”
Speaking on how APCON plans to monitor and vet the thousands of online adverts that are deployed by brands in Nigeria, the council said, “that’s our own internal mechanism, I don’t have to tell you how we’re going to do it.”
Since passing the directive, according to the APCON executive, only registered advertising practitioners with the Council are allowed to place ads online.
“We’ve written to a couple of brand managers, advertising firms, manufacturers, and practitioners in the industry so they are already aware of it. It’s their job to educate their clients and bill the fee into whatever they’re charging them.”
However, from indications, APCON might be looking into including small business owners who advertise online.
Failure to adhere to APCON’s directive will attract six months imprisonment or a N500,000 (~$1378) fine from the Council.
Nigerians have taken to their social media accounts to condemn APCON, which is the governing body that monitors and ensures ethical advertising practice in Nigeria.
Increasing VAT, imposing VAT on online transactions, now APCON wants money to scrutinise online adverts.
We need the Federal Goverment to STAND ON OUR SIDE, NOT IN OUR WAY.
Please leave young people who are hustling hard alone if you cannot help them. That’s all we’re asking.
— Dr. Dípò Awójídé (@OgbeniDipo) September 12, 2019
APCON are no longer getting free money on TV and Radio ads so they are embarking on restricting Digital Media Ads and forcing a 500k fine on brands.
— Oluwafemi Anthony (@RealSOK_) September 13, 2019
The APCON move to vet online ads is strong indication yet that Nigerian institutions don't understand how small businesses function.
What is also very clear is that APCON don't understand online advertising yet. With a N30k budget small businesses can advertise all month 1/2
— Odion Aleobua (@odionmatics) September 13, 2019
Imagine charging N25k to vet AN IG or Facebook ad with 10k! Is that not wickedness? And you have to pay N120k to accelerate the process if you can't wait for more than 2 weeks. The Nigerian government is set to destroy us all and APCON is just another machine in their system.
— Cyprian Okonkwo (@cypiee) September 13, 2019
Nigerian Govt will soon tax the air citizens breathe. You doubting me right? Okay, explain to me why APCON wants adverts on Social Media vetted though them at a fee of N25K?
To Prosper in this country is a suicide mission.
— Mr Integrity (@Intergrity56) September 13, 2019
That campaign can involve at least 3 ad concepts. So with just N30k a startup can reach thousands of prospects and be good.
But with APCON vetting process that same mini campaign will set the business back N75k more! That for small online business is a big deal 2/2
— Odion Aleobua (@odionmatics) September 13, 2019
It would be interesting to see how the APCON actwould be ammended to give the Council the right to charge for adverts on the servers of Facebook and Twitter et al that are not even hosted in Nigeria. This is a senseless over-reach to be honest.
— Feyi (@anthonyfeyitimi) September 13, 2019
Anti – people policies, that is all I can see about the current government in Nigeria. First it was VAT, now it is APCON. Someone somewhere will now be complaining that Nigerian youths are being stolen by one saviour country. A saviour country should come n steal me too o.
— Omotosho Emmanuel (@Omotosh20173872) September 13, 2019
If APCON disturb you simply ignore them or get a good lawyer if you can afford it. Technically they don’t have a legal right to sanction your business for advertising on digital platforms like Facebook unless your an advertising practitioner.
— Michael Ugwu (@iam_magicmike) September 13, 2019
Guess what guys????
APCON has started charging SMEs for ads on social media!!! Lmao this is just laughable and disgusting because they don’t own any of the platforms.
So you can’t run ads on Instagram, Facebook etc without getting charged ? pic.twitter.com/phJgmfRcnN
— Uto Umanah (@NoHarm_Intended) September 13, 2019
I feel APCON is insensitive. How do you vet online ads? Where is it done in any part of the world? It's so sad that the MDA's in the country are implementing policies that stifles economic growth. At a time we are still battling 7% VAT you are also pushing for 25k for ads vetn.☻
— Tobi Adekunle (The Analyst) (@tstickstobi) September 12, 2019
Can APCON fine you for adverts on Linda Ikeji, Nairaland, Bella Naija and so on?
Can APCON fine you for adverts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other company from another country with zero server presence in Nigeria?
— Suga Dono ? (@sugabelly) September 12, 2019
Forward thinking organisations and even individuals are devicing means to help businesses grow. But because APCON is filled with old men with little or no idea of harnessing digital tools, you want to impose 25K on businesses before they post adverts on social media.
— Wale Adetona (@iSlimfit) September 12, 2019