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Group responds to Lai Mohammed’s position on brand placement in foreign stations

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Lai Mohammed

Heads of advertising groups have responded to the recent statement by Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, that a fine awaits any firm that places advertisements on foreign owned media channels.

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This was reported widely on many leading newspaper channels on Monday, March 29, 2021.

In the minister’s comment during discussions on the NTA Good Morning Nigeria show, he said, “Nigerian brands that run adverts during foreign matches must compulsorily advertise during Nigerian Premier Football League games.”

The minister also stated that brands that produce their advertising materials abroad would pay a fine of N100, 000 each time such adverts are run, adding that advertising materials promoting Nigerian brands must be directed and authored by Nigerians inside the country.

In a statement by the HASG, a body, made up of advertisers: Advertising agencies, media agencies, marketing activation agencies, out-of-home media agencies and broadcasting companies, the group called on 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.

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The statement, signed by Mr. Steve Babaeko, President Advertising Association of Nigeria (AAAN) and Mrs. Bunmi Adeniba, President, Advertisers Association of Nigeria (ADVAN), said that it is important the minister understood 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.

The statement said: “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.”

The statement also noted, “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 and 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.”

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