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Minister directs APCON, NBC to guarantee advertising income of media houses

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[files] Nigeria’s Information Minister Lai Mohammed. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

The Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) has been directed by the Federal Government to implement key policies to guarantee the advertising income of media houses by creating a healthy environment for media outfits to operate.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made this known during the unveiling of the Digital Switch Over (DSO)/Analogue Switch Off timetable in Abuja.

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The minister, in his speech, said the government would also support channel owners and content providers through the implementation of the audience measurement system to guarantee a sustained stream of revenue from advertising for them to invest in the development of compelling content.

“Very soon, APCON and NBC will sign a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, on zero advertising debts to ensure that revenue from advertising goes to the media owners.”

The Registrar/CEO of APCON, Dr. Olalekan Fadolapo, commended the minister for his directive.

He stated the minister had recently given a similar directive to APCON on the need for the full implementation of the advertising industry reform guideline.

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The industry reform guideline is aimed at creating a healthy business environment, sanitise the industry, set minimum acceptable business engagement rules and ethical standards, create jobs for Nigerians as well as encourage local content in advertising productions.

He expressed confidence in the partnership with NBC on the implementation of the minister’s directive, which will further foster growth and development of the industry. He enjoined stakeholders to put all hands on deck to ensure the success of the DSO project.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) and APCON have committed to exploring joint manpower development and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) to uphold copyright best practices for sustainable development of the advertising and creative industries.

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Fadolapo, who announced this in Abuja, indicated that a MoU to facilitate the implementation of the inter-agency collaboration would be finalised without delay. During a consultative meeting at the Commission’s headquarters recently, the chief executives stated that a simple copyright manual on professional advertising would be developed to assist the practitioners to function legally with minimal or no copyright infractions.

According to them, the modalities of the MOU on manpower training and appropriate rights clearance for proper exploitation of copyright works in the advertising industry would be fine-tuned at an upcoming webinar.

Asein noted that as major stakeholders in the creative industry, advertising practitioners should be abreast of the copyright and regulatory laws governing the industry. He observed that government agencies have common goals to deliver in the national interest, adding that the synergy between both agencies would facilitate better service delivery on their respective mandates.

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“As we endeavour to harness resources, we will check dissipation of energy and gain mileage in the implementation of our respective mandates,” he said.

The Registrar/CEO of APCON, Dr. Fadolapo, noted that there was a need to identify and bridge knowledge gaps among practitioners, adding that the collaboration between both agencies as regulators in the creative sector was imperative to avoid their operating in isolation.

He expressed the disposition of APCON to the development of a working manual for advertising practitioners, the integration of the training modules of NCC’s training arm, the Nigerian Copyright Academy, into APCON’s academic curricular to add value to the practitioners. Accompanied by his executive assistant, Mr. Chukwudi Ezeaba, the registrar agreed to explore the Commission’s ADR mechanism as part of the Council’s process for resolution of copyright issues in the advertising industry. The Director, NCA, Mr. Mike Akpan, said the academy was on the verge of rolling out its training brochure for various stakeholders in the creative industry, adding that customised training modules for APCON members would be incorporated into the comprehensive training guide.

He stated that issues of licensing, rights clearance, out-of-court mediation of copyright disputes, and protection of businesses from avoidable litigation were part of available training opportunities that the Council could explore.

Others in attendance were the Commission’s Director of Operations, Mr. Obi Ezeilo, and Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Mr. Vincent A. Oyefeso.

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