ARCON Partners Trendsville on political advertising seminar

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Yesterday 17th of August 2022, the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) in collaboration with Trendsville Media holds a one -day seminar on Political Advertising; Strategies and Tactics.

The seminar had two panel sessions with a lead speaker for each session. The first session was led by Mr Lanre Adisa. Mr Adisa is the Chief Executive Officer of Noah’s Ark Group, one of Nigeria’s leading advertising agencies based in Lagos. The second session was led by the Director, Regulation, Monitoring and Enforcement of the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON), Mrs Ijedi Iyoha.

Speaking during his presentation titled “Marketing Communication and Nigeria’s Political Economy”, Adisa charged political stakeholders in Kwara to see their political parties as brands which must be guarded jealously or risk losing their relevance with the people.

“It is high time politicians began to see political parties as brands and I think this is one of the problems in Nigeria. In other countries, the situation is different because the idea is that political parties are a product of ideologies. Your political brands then are more than logos and slogans. They are like brands. They are promises that must be kept every time the consumers come in contact with them, and this is an important factor that must be understood by all political parties in Nigeria,” he said.

Adisa also advised politicians to always connect with the people, listen to their wishes in continue to satisfy their yearnings in order to maintain relevance.

According to him, “If you have a good brand, you must also engage in constant and reassuring conversations with your audience via multiple channels and platforms, and apply all necessary strategies to ensure that the goal of the campaign is achieved. Remember that for every campaign, there is a communication objective.

“Also, there is a need to recognize that communication objectives differ from one political candidate to the other. For instance, the objective of an incumbent, vying for the same office again will be quite different from someone that is just trying to come into the office.”

On political advertisements, Adisa frowned at the lack of creativity in this area. He lamented that political advertisements have not developed so much from what it used to be during the political campaigns that preceded the 1993 elections. It has been the same for every election since. He however opined that political campaigns will only work if it has an element of human interest, and politicians must begin to see political campaigns as synonymous with political advertising by engaging professionals in designing their campaign strategies and advertisements.

Mrs. Iyoha on her part spoke extensively on the role of ARCON in guiding advertising practices in the country. According to her, the code of advertising is just like the Bible and Quran for every advertising practitioner. It contains rules and regulations that are sacrosanct and must be adhered to strictly for standard practices in the field of advertising, especially political advertisement.

She, however, added that political adverts in Nigeria should have a Nigerian ambience. This means that models to be used for political adverts should be Nigerian, and reflect the values of people in the country.

She also warned that Practitioners should desist from helping politicians design bogus political promises that may not be achievable. She said, “Advertising is guided by basic principles such as honesty, decency, truthfulness, respectfulness and respect for culture.” She noted that the Council has measures to checkmate this.

For instance, to get an advert endorsement, except for obituaries, adverts are subjected to vetting to ensure compliance with the regulations of the Council.

The Registrar of ARCON, Dr Fadolapo Olalekan, while giving his address, thanked all stakeholders for honouring the invitation of the Council. He equally acknowledged the efforts of the Management and Staff of Trendsville Media for being worthy partners. He appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari for assenting to the ARCON act 2022, maintaining that this will go a long way in helping the Council resolve a lot of grey areas where politicians have escaped been disciplined by the Council when found wanting.

He, however, tasked political stakeholders in Kwara state to always follow due process and procedures of political advertising in the lead up to the 2023 General Elections.

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