19 May 2013
Guinness ban lifted .
The attention of the management of Guinness Nigeria Plc has been drawn to a press release issued last Friday by the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) and signed on its behalf by one Nkechi May-Nzeribe. In that press release, Ms. May Nzeribe stated that APCON has, through its Advertising Standards Panel (ASP) Committee lifted the ban placed on Guinness Nigeria Plc because “Guinness complied by withdrawing all advertisements that had been scheduled to run and apologized over the broadcast of Guinness Foreign Extra Stout adverts on Digital Satelite Television (DSTV) outside the prescribed periods allowed by the APCON Code of Advertising and Promotion guidelines”. Nothing could be further from the truth! Contrary to the claim by APCON in the widely circulated report, Guinness Nigeria Plc had withdrawn the advertisement in question before the meeting of the APCON Council which endorsed the recommendation of the ASP to impose sanction on the company. In fact, the decision by the ASP to recommend the withdrawal of the sanction imposed on Guinness Nigeria Plc followed a meeting between the management of the company, its marketing and media agencies and APCON in which the company established that it was not in breach of the relevant provision of the Code of Advertising Practice and Sales Promotion as of the date the decision by APCON was taken. At the said meeting, both parties agreed the process of rescinding the withdrawal of certificates of approvals granted to Guinness Nigeria for the advertising of its alcoholic beverages including the submission of a letter by the company stating its side of the story. As a matter of fact, the draft of the letter was jointly agreed with Mr. Ade Akinde, who made input into it and explained that, in view of the fact that the Council of APCON had no scheduled meeting for another few weeks, the submission of the letter with part of the content provided by him was the fastest and easiest way of correcting the error which the ASP had misled the Council of APCON into by its decision to withdraw the certificates of approval earlier issued to the company. Following approval of the draft letter by Mr. Akinde, it was printed on the company’s stationery, signed and submitted to APCON.