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APCON under fire over N25K fee on Online Adverts

The Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) has been hauled over the coals from Nigerians on social media over its new directive stating that all Nigerian brands are now required to submit their adverts for vetting and also pay the sum of N25,000 to the Council before placing such advert on social media and websites.

APCON is the governing body that monitors and ensures ethical advertising practice in Nigeria.

According to a letter announcing the new directive signed by the Acting Registrar of the council, Ijedi Iyoha,

“Article 21 and 80 (a) of the Nigerian Code of Advertising Practice, Sales Promotion and Other Rights Restrictions of Practice” quoted in the directive means that APCON’s mandate covers all areas of advertising, including those deployed online.”

Hence, before any Nigerian brand can put up ads online, it needs to first get approval from APCON, and each ad clearance will cost ₦25,000 (~$69) for each ad concept, much like for offline ad clearance.

According to the new directive, failure to pay the appropriate due will attract six months imprisonment or a ₦500,000 (~$1378) fine from the Council.

Of course, many Nigerians didn’t take the directive serious since it was reported in some sections of the media a few weeks ago until a social media user shared a letter from APCON informing a Lagos-based company that it had violated the new directive.

A Twitter user @chandni_lish shared a copy of the letter from APCON dated 4 September, informing a Lagos-based fashion shop of not presenting its online advert for vetting by the Advertising Standards Panel (ASP), a statutory committee of APCON.

Some entrepreneurs have condemned the directive saying it would cripple entrepreneurship and send many of them still struggling to survive out of business.

Many also argued that APCON has no right to charge social media adverts because the social media companies are located outside Nigeria.

Check out some of the angry reactions on Twitter below…

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