AAG installs new officers, (Tuesday March, 9, 2010, Spread)

THE National Media Commission (NMC) has observed that the lack of a clear-cut policy backed by a structured legal and regulatory framework is hampering the development and regulation of the advertising and the media industries in Ghana.

It has, therefore, called for the formulation of a policy and regulatory framework to help ensure that sanity prevails in the two sectors.

A member of the NMC, Mr Berifi Apenteng, who deputised for the Chairman of the commission, Mr Kabral Blay-Amihere, made this observation at the Investiture Dinner for the President and National Council Members of the Advertising Association of Ghana (AAG).

The occasion, which brought together the crème de la crème of the advertising industry in Ghana, the media and captains of industries, saw Mr Justice Novisi Aryene, a High Court judge, swearing in Mrs Norkor Duah as the new President of the AAG, with Mr Joel Nettey as Vice-President and Mr Teete Owusu Nortey as Treasurer.

Other members of the Executive Council are Mr Emmanuel Addo, Mr Orlando Baeta, Mr Nash Fenuku, Mr Tim Acquah-Hayford, Ms Mansah Amoah-Awuah, Mr Noble Asare, Mr Martin Osei, Mr Torgbor Mensah, Mr Reginald D. Laryea, Mr Sil Kuwornu, Mr Gilbert Hagan and Mr Alex Boateng, with Mr Francis Dadzie as the Executive Director.

"It is good to have codes of ethics but that is not enough, as it is voluntary. If people in the industry do not conform to them, we find that our institutions or associations find it difficult to deal with those who breach such ethics. It is, therefore, important that we put in place rules and regulations,” Mr Apenteng said.

He noted that advertising and its related industries were important social, economic and political sectors of any society and needed a deliberate approach to ensure their development so that the country could reap optimum benefits.

He bemoaned the emerging trend whereby children were used in advertisement in a manner that suggested exploitation, as well as increasing dubious drug advertisements on radio.
"The advertisers and the media owners have a responsibility to ensure that sanity prevails in the industry," he said, but admitted that in the face of unavailable regulations, there were difficulties in dealing with those who compromised standards.

Mr Apenteng urged advertisers to devise strategies that would allow them to capitalise on the growing pace of the media, in spite of the audience fragmentation which came with it, and expressed the NMC'scommitment to ensure that the advertising sector saw the best of practices.

Mrs Norkor Duah, in her acceptance speech, pledged that "my team is all set for action and at the end of our tenure we will leave solid legacies in place like the enactment of the law on advertising practice, strict adherence to ethics and professionalism, well trained individual practitioners, a vibrant industry and association providing innovative and practical ideas for the benefit of our clients and our country".

According to her, as the association sought to strengthen its relationship with its stakeholders, there was the need for it to work with a united voice and champion a common cause.

She stated that the global financial crisis had resulted in drastic budget cuts and advertising clienteles’ inability to prioritise promotional activities.

Those challenges, she noted, had affected the advertising industry, which was currently saddled with a myriad of problems, such as difficulty in paying suppliers and prospect of growth, as well as the attitude of non-AAG members who compromised on quality and laid-down regulations.

She said as part of measures to overcome the challenges, the new executives would implement a strategy designed to revive and sustain the growth of the industry.

She urged members of the association to live up to their social responsibilities by supporting communities that were in dire need of assistance.

She commended the past executives of the association for their exemplary leadership which held aloft the tenets of the industry.

Mrs Duah assured the members of the preparedness of the newly elected executives to tap the rich experience of the outgoing executives to champion the cause of the association.

The immediate past President, Mr Reginald D. Laryea, in his remarks, stated that the AAG was working in collaboration with the Ghana Standards Board to introduce a national outdoor advertising standard which would go a long way towards regulating the indiscriminate siting of billboards throughout the country.

He decried attempts by certain individuals to influence the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) to increase outdoor advertising rates by 934 per cent, a situation he described as "worrying".

Mr Laryea thanked the members of the association for the support given him and urged them to extend the same level of co-operation to the new president and the executive members to ensure that the AAG achieved its aims and objectives.

There were solidarity messages from bodies, including the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), the Institute of Public Relations (IPR) and the Private Newspaper Publishers Association (PRINPAG).


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