Several campaign messages in Nigeria contain smear messages aimed at discrediting political opponents, a situation that has become a thing of concern to many Nigerians, as such messages could trigger violence.
- The Association of Advertising Agencies in Nigeria is worried about the growing use of smear messages in campaigns
- It says the regulatory agency is not doing enough
- Says there are chances that advertisements are not put together by members of the association
- The association urges politicians to focus more on issues
- Asks media to reject advertisements without regulatory body’s approval
The Association of Advertising Agencies in Nigeria (AAAN) said on Monday that such messages have become common as because most campaign advertisements in the electronic and print media were not vetted by the body saddled with the responsibility of vetting advertisements, the Advertising Practitioner Council of Nigeria.
In an interview on a national television, the President of the AAAN, Kelechi Nwosu, said that the AAAN had sent out a release to media houses, asking the politicians to “turn down” the messaging.
“We are worried and concerned about the nature of the messages that have been going out and we do know that a lot of them did not go through the vetting process of Advertising Practitioner Council of Nigeria (APCON).
“I do not think that a lot of the messages have been done by our members. We are an association but the regulatory body is APCON.
“I know that Channels Television go through the rule but not all of the media houses, print in particular go through that process. We have a lot of ads that are going out there that have not gone through that process,” he said.
Mr Nwosu said that one of the strategies to address the trend would be for the media to ensure that the media could play an important role in filtering the publication and broadcast of the advertisements.
Police the advertisements
He said: “A strong choke point is the media. It is a nice way to filter. If you come to a media house and you do not have the APCON registration that ads should not be featured.
“The other way is to urge politicians to stop de-marketing and go to the issues. They should keep away from the smear campaign and focus on issues.
“The third one is to urge APCON to keep doing what it should do to retrain these ads from getting to the public”.
He also urged the regulatory body to police the ads to make sure they go through the normal process.
“Squarely, there is an issue of regulation. If it goes through the vetting process, it rids out the ones that are problematic.
“When a lot of the ads have not gone through the vetting process, you will have ads that will be really offensive,” he stressed.
NP/ Channels TV