Advertising bodies condemn Lai Mohammed over plan to fine commercials on CNN, others

Heads of Advertising Sectoral Groups (HASG) has reacted to pronouncements made by Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on the payment of fine for advertisements placed on foreign owned media Channels and production of content abroad by advertisers.

The minister during NTA’s ‘Good Morning Nigeria’ programme on Monday stated that Nigerian brands runinng adverts during foreign matches must compulsorily advertise during Nigerian Premier Football League games.

The minister further stated that brands that create their adverts abroad but broadcast them on CNN and other international stations broadcasting in Nigeria will pay a fine of N100,000 each time such adverts are run.

Mohammed said this was one of the rules included in the Broadcasting Code which has been rejected by many in the industry.

However, the joint body of professionals across advertising, media independent, out of home, and experiential marketing as represented by the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN), Experiential Marketers Association of Nigeria (EXMAN), Media Independent Association of Nigeria (MIPAN), Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria (OAAN) and the Advertisers Association of Nigeria (ADVAN) have kicked against such move.

According to a statement jointly signed by the groups, there are some merits in the bid to encourage and support local production of contents in a bid to support the local industries, but has to be allowed to develop organically.

The groups also said the Minister should understand that advertisers put their advertising investment where the eyeballs of Nigerians are.

Theey also urged the minister to engage the industry players and practitioners more and explore collaboration on issues like this before making these pronouncements that can significantly impact the industry.

The statement read in part: “First it is important that the Minister should understand that advertisers put their advertising investment where the eyeballs of Nigerians are. The media decisions are driven by the consumers’ interest, passion, inspiration and aspirations.

“CNN and other international news channels are watched by Nigerians locally and internationally, the world is now a global village and Nigerians do not only live within our physical boundaries.

“Nigeria based news channels and contents developed locally are also consumed across many countries beyond our borders, with no special fines and levies imposed on companies who place adverts within them.

“While there are some merits in the bid to encourage and support local production of contents in a bid to support the local industries, the Minister must understand that these has to be allowed to develop organically.

“Also, many leading Advertisers are multinational companies who rationally seek to explore economies of scale in the production of materials, negotiation costs and broadcast of their contents which run across many countries. Even with this said, empirical information and trended data shows clearly that investment on local broadcast stations still outweighs that of foreign channels.

“There are many areas where the government can support the industry to grow, this includes funding in the areas of technical infrastructure, content development grants, and investment in tools of measurement of advertising effectiveness & efficiency etc. With the right support for the marketing communication industry, content development. Local media investment and media infrastructural development will grow and improve organically.

“The Nigerian music and entertainment industry, as well as the movie industry did not emerge and become global by forced legislative fiats, but via organic growth and creativity of the practitioners. Production and content development capabilities are improving daily as technology and funding improves, these are the areas of support required for the local players and production industry to emerge and lead the world.

“The HASG as a body, made up of Advertisers: Advertising Agencies, Media Agencies, Marketing Activation Agencies, Out-of-home Media Agencies and Broadcasting Company groups, would like the Minister to engage the industry players and practitioners more and explore collaboration on issues like this before making these pronouncements that can significantly impact the industry.

“Our sectoral group is made up of integrated marketing communications professionals and we should be engaged and consulted in matters relating to our industry as it is done with other professional sectoral bodies in Nigeria. We will continue to reach out and be available to support the Ministry of Information and Culture as well as its regulator, the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) in moving the marketing communications industry in Nigeria forward.

“Finally we strongly appeal to the Ministry as well as the National Assembly, to engage and involve the professional practitioners of the various sectors of the marketing communications industry in the conversations on policies at the point of ideation, formulation and development of these policies. This is the best pathway to a progressive and implementable legislation of policies and initiatives that will improve the well-being of the industry and Nigerians.

“The ministry and the communication industry in Nigerian can benefit more from working together and in addressing the key issues concerning the development of marketing, advertising and sponsorships in Nigeria when the capability and expertise of the professional players are leveraged.” – The News.

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