The Federal Government has urged advertising practitioners to comply with its laws and code of advertising in preparing political advertisements.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed stated this on Thursday during a stakeholder’s forum on political advertising organized by the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) in conjunction with the Advertising Practitioners Association Abuja Chapter (APAAC).
The event themed: “Ethical Advertising and Communication: A tool for enhancing peace and political stability,” was graced by dignatories in the profession.
The minister, who was represented by the permanent secretary of the ministry, Grace Isu Gekpe, said political parties, election candidates, their supporters, organizations and individuals who engage in the design and deployment of advertisements should be guided by the ethical laws of the profession.
He observed that a number of advertisements that are unhealthy for the country’s social and democratic progress have been in the media space for a while.
“I am informed that contrary to the demands of the law and code of advertising, these unwholesome advertisements were not submitted to the vetting and approval process of the Advertising Standards Panel (ASP) which is a statutory and representative organ of APCON empowered to vet and approve advertisements before they are exposed to the public,” he said.
Alhaji Mohammed urged media outlets to play their gate keeping role by demanding the ASP certificates of approval before accepting advertisements for exposure in their media.
“By so doing, we would be securing the media space and airtime from being used to spread hate, create social conflicts and assault the sensibilities of the public,” he said.
Also speaking, Chairman Senate committee on Information, Suleiman Adokwe said it was unfortunate that politics in Nigeria is no more about issue based but about character assassination.
He expressed concerns over the mismanagement of advertisements by the politicians and tasked the advertisement practitioners to stand their ground and ensure that even politicians abide by their code and conducts by ensuring that their campaigns are issue based in the interest of the nation.