The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has implemented a new requirement stating that mobile network operators (MNOs) such as MTN, Airtel, and Glo must seek approval from the commission before conducting advertising campaigns.
The guidelines, outlined in a 15-page document, emphasize the need for MNOs to submit a written request to the NCC for approval of promotional advertisements at least 30 working days before their planned publication. These requests should meet the minimum standards and requirements set by the commission.
The NCC defines advertisements as messages controlled by advertisers, expressed in any language and medium, to influence consumer choice, opinion, or behavior.
Referring to its regulatory powers granted by Section 70 of the Nigerian Communications Act of 2003, the NCC introduced these guidelines to establish minimum requirements and standards for promotional advertisements by licensed communication operators in Nigeria.
Additionally, the NCC requires that all approved advertisements be registered with the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) within three days of their launch.
Additional Information about The Requirements for NCC Ads
Furthermore, the commission’s guidelines include several requirements for licensees. They must provide a detailed report of the advertised products/services and the target audience.
The licensee should also furnish reliable and competent data based on accepted research principles. The guidelines mandate adherence to established quality standards.
Regarding pricing, the NCC stipulates that licensees must communicate all prices and financial implications without hidden or disguised adjustments, unrealistic price comparisons, or exaggerated claims.
If complex pricing structures are used, the licensee must provide detailed explanations through print media and their website.
The NCC retains the right to reject applications and will communicate the reasons for rejection to the licensee within 14 days. The licensee may be requested to remedy the situation within a specified timeframe if possible.
Furthermore, the NCC reserves the right to revoke approvals for promotions if issues such as network congestion, poor service performance, customer complaints, misrepresentation, violation of approvals, or deviation from the context/content of applications arise.
Licensees must ensure that their networks can handle increased traffic resulting from promotions and that tariffs remain within the approved limits set by the NCC.
Licensees are required to specify the duration, date range, and redemption date of promotional benefits. All promotions must accurately represent the licensees’ ability to provide goods and services as presented.
While there is a provision for appeal, the NCC emphasizes that violations of these guidelines will be subject to sanctions as per the Nigerian Communications (Enforcement Process) Regulations of 2019, or any subsequent amendments.
The commission may suspend a licensee from participating in further promotional activities based on specified terms and conditions.
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