BrandArena: APCON’s directives threatens NBL’s multi-million World Cup campaign

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

APCON’s directives threatens NBL’s multi-million World Cup campaign

Indications emerged at the weekend that Nigeria Breweries  (NB)Plc may have incurred the wrath of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) over what industry watchers called ‘infringement of advertising codes’.

An industry source revealed that the regulatory body, APCON may sanction Nigeria Breweries Plc over the violation of its guidelines and standards.

Under chapter Three (special provisions) in the APCON alcoholic beverages regulations, Article 32 (b) 33(b) 34(b) 35(b) clearly states that “children, sportsmen/women and pregnant women shall not be used as models” in advertising alcoholic beverages.”

Nigeria Breweries is said to have violated the above rule by using its popular brand, Star to endorse ex-super Eagles Internationals as its sport brand ambassadors, thereby showcasing advertising communications with these models.

This advertisement is said to have been carried out without any agreement with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) which is the property owner of the Super Eagles legends by virtue of their status as ex-super Eagles players.

Earlier, a letter to Nigeria Breweries Plc, the NFF General Secretary, Barrister Musa Amadu, decried the fact that Nigeria Breweries had “launched communication materials across Nigeria featuring ex-players of the Super Eagles, giving the impression that you are an official sponsor of the team.” The NFF added that it was only Guinness Nigeria Plc that has such right since it was its official sponsors.

Amadu added: “We have equally noticed other outdoor materials with un-named faces in green and white jerseys all in an attempt to associate with the Super Eagles’ participation at the forthcoming FIFA World Cup finals in Brazil, and gain undue advantage”.

“We declare that this is nothing but blatant market ambushing and this is not only uncalled –for, but highly unprofessional.”

The Federation went ahead to issue Nigerian Breweries Plc a seven-day ultimatum within which to remove the said materials on billboards and other outdoor creatives, “failing which the NFF and Guinness will take legal action against NB PLC and seek appropriate damages.”

Less than a year ago, there was an outcry on the seemingly double standards in regulatory approval in the alcoholic beverage industry involving the two brewing giants.

Analysts have queried why Nigeria Breweries was allowed to advertise its premium lager beer on UEFA Champions League matches broadcast before 8.p.m while Guinness Nigeria was sanctioned on the same and instructed to withdraw the advertisement its brand during English Premiership League. It is also understood that some materials exposed during UEFA & La Liga matches before 10:00pm also have bottle packs of their products Star & Heineken, which hitherto was not acceptable.

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