A ballot box filled with ballot is pictured before being counted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at a polling station in Yenagoa in Bayelsa State ~ PIUS UTOMI EKPEI
Lagos - The Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) on Wednesday in Lagos reaffirmed its demand to preview all election campaign advertisements for approval before they are aired or published.
APCON’s registrar, Garba Kankarofi, in a statement, appealed to all mass media owners and managers to comply with the directive in order to checkmate any unfounded attacks against personalities through campaign messages.
“Like every other form of advertisement, political advertisements are required to be submitted for pre-exposure approval by the Advertising Standards Panel.
“What we see today is a clear manifestation of mindless abuse of freedom of speech and flagrant breach of these regulations, which, if unchecked, is capable of plunging our country into an orgy of violence and anarchy,” the statement read.
He said the directive became necessary following recent political advertisements in some national newspapers which generated controversies.
Kankarofi expressed disappointment about the choice of "combative, provocative and insensitive'' messages used by political marketers, who sometimes "undermine social harmony and well-being'' for their own interest.
He said that henceforth, political advertisements must observe all rules and regulations on design and publication/ broadcast of political advertisements.
He said such advertisements must “avoid the use of foul or abusive language as well as false, distorted or unsubstantiated claims or misrepresentations of facts.Also read: Fayose releases another advert against Buhari
He added that they “should not exploit or incite ethnic, religious or other sectional interests.
He stressed that they should clearly indicate the identity of the sponsor of the advertisements as anonymous or unidentifiable advertisers were not allowed to place advertisements in the media.
He warned that the peace and stability of Nigeria must not be undermined by any personal political interest or the business interest of media owners and managers.
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