Prima Garnet vs Ogilvy Africa: Court orders APCON to vet Airtel adverts

Posted by News Express | 28 May 2013 | 4,565 times

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The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has ordered the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) to perform its statutory obligation of vetting advertising materials submitted to it by leading telecommunications service provider Airtel Networks Limited.

Hon. Justice M. N. Yunusa gave an order of interim injunction last Friday (May 24) compelling APCON to carry out its functions regarding Airtel’s advertising materials and restraining it and its agents or officers “from refusing to vetting, approving or giving consideration to any advertisement whatsoever” from Airtel pending hearing of the motion on notice on June 13.

Justice Yunusa also granted Airtel “an order of certiorari to quash the ruling and proceedings of the Advertising Standards Panel of May 3, 2103,” an order to prevent APCON from effecting the decisions of the Advertising Standards Panel of May 3 as well as an order of mandamus compelling performance of its statutory function.

Justice Yunusa’s orders followed a motion exparte deposed to on behalf of Airtel by Tinuola T. Ogundipe-Alatise on May 23 seeking the court’s leave to quash the proceedings of the Advertising Standards Panel of May 3, 2013 which had refused to vet advertising materials submitted to it by Airtel through its advertising agency, STB-McCann.

In refusing to vet Airtel’s advertising materials, APCON cited a court injunction ordering that the status quo be maintained in the dispute between its former advertising agency, Prima Garnet Communications and its foreign affiliate Ogilvy Africa. Ogilvy Africa managed the Airtel account in Nigeria (along with its affiliate, Prima Garnet) but lost it following Airtel’s termination of its relationship with Ogilvy Africa as regards the Airtel Nigeria account. The Chief Executive of Prima Garnet Communications, Mr. Lolu Akinwunmi, is chairman of APCON.

Airtel had argued that APCON extended the ordinary interpretation of the status quo order as granted by the court in the Prima Garnet versus Ogilvy Africa suit. Airtel maintains that the status quo order granted by the court had no bearing on its advertisement materials and vetting of same by the regulator.

Justice Yunusa adjourned Airtel’s case against APCON till June 13, 2013.

•Photo shows APCON Registrar/CEO, Alhaji Garba Bello Kankarofi.


Source: News Express

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