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Ambode seeks stronger ethical standards for advertising industry


Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode

Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode has advocated stronger ethical standards for advertising agencies, as this would be the yardstick for measuring growth and development of the industry.
Ambode who made the call at the 44th Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Congress of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN) lamented eroded social values through what he described as inappropriate interpretation of products or services campaign strategies by impressionable market audience.
At the congress with the theme: “Fresh Thinking,” he advised that the agencies should consider evolving new strategies to meet up with their clients’ demands in the development and location of billboards and advert hoarding in public places.
While affirming that the advertising sector presents immense opportunities to showcase the creative talents of the youths, he argued that the talents could be used to promote the state’s rich cultural and historical heritage.
Ambode also disclosed that the government was facilitating the socio-economic growth and infrastructure development of the state to keep pace with the demands of the emerging Smart City, which would impact positively on the advertising profession.
His words: “I urge members of the Association to emphasise on ethical standards in the development of advert concepts. We have to consider the impact of culture in the development of advert campaigns. The evolution of a ‘global village’ concept does not translate to equality of moral codes acceptable to African and Western cultures. Let us promote our social and moral ethos and preserve our culture for the benefit of generations unborn.
“I want you to cooperate and show understanding with the government in the effort to ensure orderliness in the practice of your profession particularly in this state. The relevant laws and regulations are meant to align advertisement with our regional and urban planning laws as well as global best practices in modern city-states.
“It is, therefore, important to ensure compliance with regulations while we remain open to useful ideas and suggestions that will benefit all.” Also speaking, the Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Babatunde Fowler, said advertising plays central role in the acceptance of products, services, new thinking, attitudinal change, careers and industrial fortunes.

He said the FIRS would continue to partner with advertisers, adding: “You must have observed a fresh tinge to public communication and advertising from the FIRS, dating back to 2007.  Some members of this association worked with us in re-designing our logo, branding and enunciating a new vision and mission.
“Likewise the withholding tax will apply as advance payment of tax. The employees in an advertising company will be subjected to personal income tax through the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system.”

Referring to the theme, Fowler noted: “If ‘Fresh Thinking’ is a way of solving problems or considering situations from a fresh perspective that suggests unconventional solutions, then FIRS has been doing a lot of fresh thinking in recent times.

“In 2016, the country celebrated the addition of N27 billion to the national treasury from a novel idea: The waiver of penalties and interest programme. FIRS offered tax amnesty to taxpayers in default of payment of taxes between 2013 and 2015.

“We have also improved collaboration with the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation to ensure that MDAs remit taxes promptly through the implementation of the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS), which facilitates deduction and remittance of Withholding Tax (WHT) and Value Added Tax (VAT) on all contract payments at source.”

The registrar, Advertising Practitioner Council of Nigeria (APCON), Garba Kankarofi, in his good will message, appealed to the advertising industry not to take advantage of the prolonged suspension of the APCON council to indulge in practices that negate the growth and development of the profession.

“There is no doubt that, at a time like this, fresh thinking is required in large doses to overcome constraints and drive businesses to stability and profitability. The challenges of declining marketing communications budget, delays in settlement of invoices, competition for fewer accounts, sometimes with foreign and non-registered agencies, rising cost of hiring and retaining quality talents and resource, among others really demand a fresh thinking.
We are very hopeful that the long standing issue of re-constitution of the governing council of APCON will be resolve very soon so that the industry will continue to benefit from the wise guidance and concerted leadership the council has always provided.
“I wish to appeal to your association and indeed all practitioners across all sectors of the Advertising industry not to take advantage of the prolonged suspension of the APCON council to indulge in practices that negate the growth and development of the profession or further task our capacity to regulate the business and practice of advertising in the interest of all stakeholders,” he said.

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Akinwunmi Ambode
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