VETTING OF ADVERTISEMENTS
The Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) was established by the Advertising Practitioners Registration Act No. 55 of 1988, as amended by Act No. 93 of 1992 and Act No. 116 of 1993 (now Advertising Practitioners Registration Act Cap A7 of 2004).
The adoption of a broad national mass communication policy by the National Council of Ministers in January 1988 was a milestone in the establishment of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON). The various discussions that followed the adoption of the national mass communication policy articulated the relevance and the leadership role of advertising to the nation’s social, political and economic development as well as the need for official recognition and regulation of the practice.
The Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) was subsequently established by the Act number 55 of 1988 as a logical outcome of these discussions. The Act accorded deserved state legislative recognition of advertising as a profession in Nigeria and vested APCON with powers to regulate and control the practice of advertising in Nigeria, in all its aspects and ramifications.
APCON maintains a strong focus on its vision of promoting responsible and ethical advertising practice, acts as the conscience of society in matters of commercial communications and as a watchdog for consumers. It also manages the needs and interests of stakeholders in Nigeria’s advertising industry.
APCON cooperates with these Sectorial associations in regulating the conduct of their member organizations to ensure a socially responsible practice. By insisting on pre-exposure clearance of all advertisements, APCON strives to check all forms of abuses such as misleading statements, spurious testimonials, visual and verbal exaggerations, misleading offers, suggestion or pictures offensive to public decency, etc.
ADVERTISEMENTS FOR VETTING
APCON vets advertisements to conform with the standards of best practice and in accordance with the provisions of the Code of Advertising Practice, and the Laws of the Federation.
It is mandatory for all advertisements to be submitted for pre-exposure vetting and approval.
Organizations and persons wishing to place advertisements in any media must first present the concept(s) for pre-exposure vetting and approval.
Below are the categories of products/ services to be vetted before exposure.
 Personal Hygiene Products
 Over-the-Counter Medicines
 Tobacco Promotions
 Home Video Promotions
 Financial Services
 Religious Programmes
 Political Advertising
 Corporate Advertisements of Regulated Products
 Corporate Advertisements of General Nature
 Consumer Sales Promotions
 Medical Equipment
 Electrical and Electronics
 Household Items
 Oil and Gas
 Air-Time Services and Promotions
 Building Materials and Fittings
 General Goods and Services etc.
Categories that need not be Vetted
- Job vacancies
- Public Notices
- Financial Statements
- Goodwill Messages
REQUIREMENTS FOR VETTING ADVERTISEMENTS
A formal application letter for vetting addressed to:
The Registrar/CEO, APCON House, National Theatre Annexe Iganmu, Lagos.
- ASP form 001 filled and duly signed by a registered advertising practitioner not below an Associate Member (arpa), stating his/her APCON Registration number.
- Product’s NAFDAC/ SON Certificate or payment advice (Where necessary) must be attached.
- The Client’s letter of authorization to advertise the product/service, signed by an APCON registered practitioner.
- The material to be advertised – concept/version (television, radio, press, outdoor, online, Bus Branding etc.)
VETTING APPLICATION PROCEDURE
Application for approval to advertise must be initiated by an advertising practitioner who would attach all the requirements as applicable to the particular product/service.
The application is forwarded to the Registrar of APCON together with all the attached documents.
The Advertising Standards Panel – the approving authority, meets twice every month to consider materials forwarded for vetting. However, a request may be made for accelerated vetting of advertisements. This request will be honoured provided the applicant takes full financial responsibility for such an emergency meeting. Provisions are available for 8 and 16 working hours accelerated vetting.
- No advertisement under the vetting category should be exposed unless a Certificate of approval signed by the Registrar of APCON has been received by the applicant or media house.
- Copies of the Certificate of Approval must be attached to all media orders.
- Where request to advertise has been refused or denied, an applicant may appeal to the Governing Council of APCON for reconsideration. Such an appeal should be addressed through the Registrar stating the ground(s) of appeal.
- Approval to advertise could be withdrawn or revoked at any time after it has been granted if in the opinion of the Panel any condition for such approval have been violated, altered or changed in any way or new facts have emerged to affect the validity or authenticity of earlier data/claims submitted by the applicant.
- All approvals shall bear identification codes and the codes shall be reflected on all advertising materials.
- Regular vetting – N25,000.00
- 8 hours accelerated vetting – N280,000.00
- 16 hours accelerated vetting – N150,000.00
- Use of Foreign model – N500,000.00
- Foreign production – N500,000.00
- Verification of promotion (Lagos) – N250,000.00
PROMO VERIFICATION/ FEES
All consumer promotions are vetted and verified by the ASP. When application is made for verification of any consumer promotion, the promotional incentives listed in the advertisement material(s) are to be assembled for inspection to ensure that consumers/participants are not mislead.
- Location within Lagos – N250, 000.00
- Location outside Lagos but within Lagos Zonal operations – N500, 000.00
- Location within our Zonal Offices – N250, 000.00
- Location outside zonal Operations – N500, 000 .00
USE OF FOREIGN MODELS
Models used in advertisements exposed in Nigeria shall be Nigerians except where the concept specifically requires non Nigerians. The use of non-Nigerian models would attract additional fee of N500, 000 (Five e hundred thousand naira only) per concept/version.
Advertisements shall not contain any description, claims or illustration, which directly or by implication convey an erroneous or misleading impression about the product or service advertised or about its suitability for the purpose recommended.
Any description, claim, or illustration made in any advertisement shall be subject to empirical proof or capable of substantiation. Such proof or substantiation shall be available, so that evidence can be produced without delay and upon request to the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria.
- Such evidence shall be required in respect of superlative or comparative claims made in any advertisement.
- Testimonials or endorsements made in any advertisement shall be subject to proof.
- Claims of being No.1 in any product category can be deceptive as being No.1 could be in volume, colour, context, taste, etcetera. Consequently, the No.1 must be avoid
- A media house, an outdoor outfit or Digital medium which publishes or exposes an advertisement without approval shall be liable to a minimum penalty of N500, 000 (Five hundred thousand Naira)
- An Agency which creates and/or places for publication or exposure an advertisement without approval shall be liable to a minimum penalty of N500, 000 (Five hundred thousand Naira).
- An Advertiser who authorizes the publication or exposure of an advertisement without approval shall be liable to a minimum penalty of N500, 000 (Five hundred thousand Naira).
- An Advertising practitioner who publishes, exposes or knowingly aids the exposure of an advertisement without approval shall be subject to the APCON Disciplinary Procedure not withstanding the payment by his employer of the appropriate penalty.