The Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) has warned against advertising agencies using the uniform of the Nigerian Army or any of the other security agencies for an advertisement without formal approval from the concerned authority.
The ARCON Director-General, Olalekan Fadolapo, said this in a statement he personally signed on Wednesday.
“This is to reiterate that it is illegal to use the uniforms of military personnel, Nigerian police, NYSC, or that of any other paramilitary agency for an advertisement without formal approval from the concerned authority.
He made this statement in reaction to a recent advertisement of ‘General Bitters using a celebrity (DAVIDO) who wore the uniform of a military general.
The advertising regulatory body said its Advertising Standards Panel (ASP) had requested the advertising agency to seek for, and obtain approval of the Nigerian military authority to use its military outfit for the purpose of advertisement.
But stated that neither the authorization of the Nigerian military for the use of its uniform, nor the approval of the ASP was obtained before the said D’General Bitters advertisement was exposed.
In response, the regulating body declared that, in accordance with the Nigerian Code of Advertising, it will prosecute any individual or business entity that sponsors, causes to be exposed, or exposes unapproved commercials on any media without permission.
“ARCON will prosecute any person or body corporate who sponsors, causes to be exposed, or exposes unapproved advertisements on any medium without approval in line with the Nigerian Code of Advertising.
“ARCON will continue to collaborate with other law enforcement agencies to stem
this tide and ensure sanity in the Nigeria Advertising Industry.
Nigerian Criminal Code Act, says any person who is not serving in any of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, police or any force that wears the uniform or any part of the uniform of any of the Forces, or any dress having the appearance or bearing any of the regimental or other distinctive marks of such uniform is guilty of an offence of unlawfully wearing the uniform of the Armed Forces.
Section 109 and 110 of the Criminal Code Act states that the offence is punishable with imprisonment for one month.