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ARCON to remove ‘unapproved’ political adverts, prosecute defaulters

ARCON to remove ‘unapproved’ political adverts, prosecute defaulters
December 05
09:31 2022

The Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) has announced the removal of unapproved political advertisements effective Monday, December 5.

In a statement dated November 22, 2022, and made available to TheCable, Olalekan Fadolapo, ARCON director-general, said exposure of unapproved advertisements without prior approval of the council’s advertising standards panel is an offence under section 34(3) of the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria Act No. 23 of 2022.

He said the council has observed the high rate of unapproved political advertisements ahead of next year’s elections.

Fadolapo, therefore, warned that ARCON, alongside relevant law enforcement agents, would embark on a nationwide enforcement exercise to remove political advertisements not approved by it.

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“The Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) established by the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria Act No. 23 of 2022 has observed with concern the increasing spate of exposure of unapproved political advertisements ahead of the 2023 General Elections on all media platforms,” the statement reads.

“Exposure of unapproved advertisements without prior approval of the Advertising Standards Panel is an offence under section 34(3) of the Act.

“All political parties, elective political office aspirants, political campaign organisations, advertisement agencies and media space owners are hereby advised to immediately desist from exposing political advertisements without prior approval of the Advertising Standards Panel as required by the Act.

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“In view of the above, ARCON, with other relevant law enforcement agencies of the Federal Government, will from Monday 5th December 2022 commence a nationwide enforcement exercise to remove every political advertisement for which approval was not given prior to exposure.”

The ARCON DG urged stakeholders in the industry to desist from placing adverts that do not conform with the regulatory laws as the council would not hesitate to prosecute defaulters.

“ARCON will further seek to prosecute any person or body corporate who sponsors,
causes to be exposed exposes or takes benefit of political advertising, advertisement or marketing communication without the approval of the Advertising Standards Panel,” the statement adds.

“All political and advertisement stakeholders are enjoined to take note.”

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In October, ARCON announced that it had filed a N30bn suit against Meta over “unapproved adverts” being posted on its platforms.

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