Stop the APCON from charging online advertisement in Nigeria

Stop the APCON from charging online advertisement in Nigeria

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Michael Ikechi started this petition to Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) and

"APCON wants to charge a ₦25,000 fee on all online advertising in Nigeria."

That was the headline of this Techpoint Africa article.

I thought it would be clickbait, but it wasn't. The government parastatal is serious about it, and has even released a PDF, detailing their plans, including a ₦500,000 fine for using "foreign models" in online advertisement.

This petition exists for the following reasons:

1. The Nigerian Law already makes provision for false advertisement. A ₦50,000 fine.

See The Consumer Protection Act, 1992, part II, sections 11 and 12.

2. In 2018, a Court of Appeal ruled, that APCON's powers, does not extend to persons, who are not advertising practitioners. APCON's document has not been updated to reflect that ruling.

3. It remains unclear in the document, what constitutes "online advertisement". On page 4 of the PDF, it says it applies to all brands of advertising ...", then goes on to give examples. If I make a tweet, lauding my favourite restaurant for their good service, do I have to pay a fine?

4. Many online adverts come from small scale businesses, owned by individuals or small groups, that are trying to grow customers, and not hurt anyone. They will be the most affected by this scheme.

It currently costs nothing to post images about my brand on Instagram, and only my followers, who have the option to unfollow me, see it. With this new scheme, it will cost ₦25,000.

5. The APCON has not, in any way, proven its ability to handle screening the huge amount of adverts produced daily, by the Nigerian information space.

6. Lack of a clearly defined scope, means this will be abused by enforcers, and for a country that is already dealing with multiple cases of abuse of power, we should be a lot more careful when defining laws.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!
At 2,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!