The Advertisers Association of Nigeria (ADVAN), under the leadership of Osamede Uwubanmwen has dragged President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Senate President Godswill Akpabio, the Attorney-General of The Federation, the Senate and House of Representatives, Minister-Federal Ministry Of Information And Culture, Minister, Federal Ministry Of Industry, Trade and Investment and National Institute Of Marketing Of Nigeria (NIMN) as parties to a suit against the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) over the ongoing advertising industry reforms.
Speaking at a press conference with journalists at its Ikeja office, ADVAN through Osamede, notified the media that the action was necessary after a thorough and deliberate consideration of the reforms’ implications of the ongoing reforms on the advertising industry and its members.
Osamede confirmed that rather than the speculations out there in the media, the association has indeed taken a legal action against ARCON along with the parties to the suit.
He stated, “We do not take this matter lightly because we are law-abiding brands that hold the Nigerian constitution in the highest esteem. The ongoing ARCON reforms as it stands, has raised concerns that need to be addressed. We have engaged in numerous dialogues and consultations, and we want to clarify that while there were discussions suggesting that ADVAN had already gone to court, that was not official. We can now confirm that we have indeed taken the matter to court to challenge the constitutionality of the advertising reforms.
He added that ADVAN views this legal action as an essential response to safeguard the interests of its members and the integrity of the marketing profession in Nigeria. Specifically, ADVAN pointed out that the legal action is instituted to tackle what it describes as a breach of the constitution and legal rights of advertisers and their members.
“The Nigerian constitution is a revered document, and any amendments to it must adhere to a stringent process that involves approval by two-thirds of the Senate and the House of Assembly in Nigeria. After a thorough examination, ADVAN has identified certain aspects of the ARCON reform that appear to be in conflict with the constitution. This includes the handling of marketing and advertising within the constitution and the regulation of contractual agreements between two parties. The organization believes that such agreements should not be legislated upon but should remain within the realm of enforceable legal contracts,” he said.
Uwubanmwen further explained, “The purpose of regulating communication is to ensure that harmful content is not displayed, and when it transforms into a revenue-generating mechanism, it contradicts the essence of regulation. This is especially concerning for corporate entities operating in Nigeria.”
Uwubanmwen concluded, “We are the leaders in our industry, the most trained and experienced. Our members have insisted that we explore all avenues of dialogue. As an organization committed to upholding the rule of law, we now turn to the court for guidance. We hope that the court will carefully examine the aspects of the law in question and determine whether they are consistent with the Nigerian constitution. We believe in the wisdom of the court, and we have taken this step in the best interest of our industry and our members.”