Tuesday, April 20

Why can’t Nigeria have a strong advertising regulatory body like South Africa?

Let me tell you what happened in South Africa. Vodacom, one of the biggest mobile service providers in the country, ran a commercial which shows a pastor on his way to a wedding he was scheduled to minister on. Along the way, pastor’s car runs out of fuel. Being in a rural area, pastor can’t get fuel anywhere close, however, thanks to Vodacom’s 4G “coverage” in the area, he was able to connect to the wedding venue and joined bride and groom as husband and wife via video call — all thanks to Vodacom’s 4G coverage in the rural area.

The ad enjoyed massive airplay on TV and on the Internet:

Now, a user who found the ad non amusing and misleading — knowing that there’s hardly anything like Vodacom 4G coverage in rural areas — reports the commercial to SA’s ASA which¬† means Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa. ASA in turn probes Vodacom and finds out there’s truth to what the guy is saying. Now ASA has told Vodacom to remove the misleading ads from everywhere.

Now, back to here in Nigeria; who do I report to that some phone companies are advertising and selling “4G-enabled” smartphones whereas the uninformed masses aren’t aware that there’s no mobile network operator offering 4G support in the country?

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