Outdoor advertisers rue unrestricted regulation, multiple taxation

Chijide, OAAN President Udeme, APCON Chairman

Chijide, OAAN President               Udeme, APCON Chairman

Unrestricted government regulation and multiple taxations were last week listed as the major headaches to the effective practice of outdoor advertising in NigeriaUdeme, APCON Chairman. The position was echoed by the President of Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria (OAAN), Mr. Charles Chijide frpa during the association’s 9th Exhibition and Poster Awards held in Lagos.

He did not stop there, as he also mentioned inter-sectorial indebtedness, which has led to its members not being able to meet their obligations to staff, suppliers and even to government.

Chijide however maintained that as a group of professionals committed to the ethical standards, it is committed to making the practice better and to accommodate the desires and expectations of the clients to the extent that it will continue to help in the actualization of visual communications objectives, thereby elevating high level exposure in the market place.

To ensure professionalism is given its right of place in the practice, he said, is why members of the association is investing more than ever before in training of its operatives besides collectively embarking on a number of research activities relevant to the information needs of the clients.

The OAAN President noted that its members would not relent in investing to better gained professionalism in the industry because it knows that the place of outdoor advertising to the success of all marketing communications efforts has continued to be on the increase, which he alluded to the dynamic nature of the practice.

“It is one that can always easily adapt to prevailing trends. It has consistently been influenced by and has benefitted tremendously from prevailing technological advancements.   “Furthermore, outdoor advertising has also helped to light up and beautify our environment.

It makes the skyline of our cities more beautiful. Above all, outdoor advertising is the most viewer-friendly platform when compared with other media platforms,” the OAAN boss stated.

Also, in a review of the industry from the pre-1928 to date contained in the brochure distributed at the event, OAAN not only took a critical look at the growth and challenges the sector is grappling with, it recommended what it thought could help drive the practice of outdoor advertising into greater height, top of which is demanding that all laws and codes enacted both by the federal and the various state governments for the purpose of controlling or regulating outdoor advertising in whatever form should be vested in APCON.

It also suggested that APCON should come up with policies on outdoor advertising practice, especially concerning environmental issues, while the OAAN should seek legal interpretation of the constitutional provisions relating to outdoor advertising in view of the creation of signage agencies by the states besides ensuring that its codes of practice takes cognizance of all criticisms including issues on the environment.

The body further said that both APCON and OAAN should collaborate to ensure powers to regulate outdoor advertising reside with one body.

While the body noted that outdoor advertising has grown significantly from its crude beginning, especially in terms of format and types of structure, and has become a major platform for marketing communication in Nigeria, it stated that in spite of the industry’s pioneering efforts at self-regulation, outdoor advertising is the most criticized of all the media of advertising in the country.

It claimed this is due largely to the fact that outdoor advertising structures are out there and such criticisms border on environmental concerns and as a result governments at all levels have put in place laws and codes to regulate the industry.

“Governments at the various levels in exercising their powers over outdoor advertising have however created monsters that operators have to grapple with in the course of their business. Such are the ministries and departments that have byelaws and other statutory instructions that empower them to control outdoor advertising.

“Additional to this is that most states, disregarding the relevant provisions of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and hiding behind the obligations to protect the environment, have put in place institutions.

“On the surface, these agencies are out to ensure a beautiful environment. But practitioners believe that indeed, they were set up to shore up their internally generated revenue.

Regardless of official reasons given for the statutory regulations of outdoor advertising in Nigeria, this study has revealed that these government agents of intervention have added to the regulatory burdens with which practitioners in the industry are currently being saddled.

“Outdoor advertising practice evidently has no instrument to protect it from the barrage of statutory regulations across the country.

The reality therefore is that in spite of the efforts at self-regulations, outdoor advertising practice in Nigeria has continued to suffer under the yoke of statutory regulations. All over the country, the sub-sector has continued to be under stringent controls and standards.”

Although there were 13 categories for awards to be dished out, two of those categories, Electronics and ICT, had no winners because the judges felt the entries did not meet stipulated standards and were below par. In spite of this, the chairman of the panel of judges, Mr. Lampe Omoyele, stated that many of the entries were exciting, which was why the judges enjoyed the process.

While Conoil, which won the Oli and gas category was also declared the winner of the grandposter category, some of the other winners were: Nigerian Breweries’ Starlite entry for the Alcoholic drinks; Pepsi for the Non-Alcoholic drink; P&G’ Ariel entry for the Household products; MTN’ Be Better entry for the Telecoms and Toyota’ Yaris entry for the automobiles/accessories. There was also the special awards for corporate and individuals in which five awards were dished out.

According to the organizers, the special awards were for individuals and corporate organizations that had supported the cause and contributed to the elevation of the practice of outdoor advertising over the years.

The corporate were Glo, Nigerian Breweries and Friesland WAMCO while the individuals were former Chairman of APCON, Lolu Akinwunmi and the marketing Director of Nigerian Breweries, Walter Drenth. Akinwunmi thanked OAAN very warmly for singling out for the honour, saying, “I really appreciate this.”

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