The Federal Government of Nigeria has disbanded the Secretariat of the Advertising Standard Panel (ASP) following its endorsement of billboards that were accused of attempting to manipulate the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal with the slogan “All Eyes on The Judiciary.” The Director-General of the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON), Dr. Olalekan Fadolapo, announced the dissolution of the panel through a statement.
The ASP, a Statutory Panel within ARCON, is responsible for ensuring that advertisements adhere to the prevailing laws of the Federation and the Code of Ethics for advertising professionals.
The Director-General pointed out that the advertisement in question was not approved by the ASP and highlighted reasons why it should not have been endorsed.
The advertisement contained a controversial message related to a matter pending before the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, which violated legal and ethical standards. The advertisement was considered potentially capable of instigating public unrest and breaching public peace.
As a result of this situation, the Council has temporarily suspended its Director and Deputy Director responsible for Regulations pending an investigation.
A committee will be established to investigate the circumstances leading to the erroneous approval of the controversial advertisement’s concept and the breach of vetting guidelines.
In light of the failure of the ASP Secretariat to diligently exercise its role as the gatekeeper of advertising and marketing communications, the Federal Government decided to dissolve the Advertising Standards Panel Secretariat.
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