What could have prompted the vulgar live advertisement of semi nude girls dancing in a glass mobile advertisement truck along Lekki-Ikoyi link bridge last Friday? What products were they advertising? What was the relevance of the nudity in broad day light? Advertising lingerie and beauty products does not necessarily present a cogent justification for nudity. Utilising sexual innuendo is even more likely to render the ad unacceptable.
We are first of all Nigerians and, in the second place, Africans, with clearly defined shared cultural values, which specifically uphold moral standards. Our cultural values frown at indecent dressing and lifestyles that are not in tandem with African moral values and ethics. But this obvious fact seems to have eluded many Nigerians, particularly the younger generation who derive pleasure in dressing half naked, all in the name of fashion. Moreover, nudity in music videos is on the increase, bringing the feminine gender to dishonour. Most worrisome is the fact that young ladies are utilised to perpetuate these unacceptable and disgraceful acts that not only depict them and the entire womenfolk as mere sex objects but also debase their worth.
The sudden appearance of quasi-nude ladies dancing around a stripper pole in the full glare of commuters at the toll gate along the Lekki-Ikoyi link bridge provoked instant controversy. Both commuters who personally experienced the rude shock and viewers of the offensive video that has gone viral on the social media have continued to condemn the act, as it negates Nigerian cultural values.
The use of the half-naked girls as displayed by the truck with the number APP 713 XL is unacceptable and an unethical behaviour in both the advertising and entertainment industries. Government and regulatory bodies have equally condemned the act, which they termed gratuitous.
The Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) and Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria (OOAN) have expressed displeasure at the repulsive viral video of semi-nude ladies in a mobile advertisement truck circulating on social media.
APCON censured the advertisement, which it described as grossly indecent, disrespectful to Nigeria’s culture and prepared with little or no sense of social responsibility. Mrs. Ijedi Iyoha, acting registrar/CEO of APCON, said that the advertisement violated the common principles of decency promoted in the code of ethics of advertising practice and unnecessarily exploited and depicted unwholesome sexual behaviours.
“We have activated all necessary measures to ascertain the persons or advertising agency or agencies or organisations behind the act and shall be working with other relevant government agencies and advertising stakeholders to ensure that the rule of law is applied and to further ensure that such and similar abhorrent forms of advertisements are avoided in future,” she said.
According to a statement issued by OOAN and signed by Mr. Emmanuel Ajufo, its president, “OAAN does not subscribe to the show of shame on the streets of Lagos by ladies dressed in nudity.”
The statement reads in part: “OAAN is a responsible association and our members are disciplined and would not be involved in unprofessional campaign such as seen in the viral video.
“In strong terms, we condemned with all sense of sincerity the indecent advertising campaign and its content. We, as an association, do not subscribe to the show of shame on the streets of Lagos by ladies dressed in nudity.”
The APCON chief further stated that the council was committed to ensure that all advertisements in Nigeria or directed at the Nigerian market were legal, decent, honest, truthful, respectful and mindful of Nigeria’s culture, constitutional tenets and relevant lawful enactments as well as containing a high sense of social responsibility.
The Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA) has also disparaged the act, even as it took immediate stringent action of suspending the practice licence of the alleged advertising firm, Pro-Vision Media System Limited, over the indecent advertisement around the Lekki-Ikoyi toll gate.
A statement signed by Mr. Mobolaji Sanusi, managing director of LASAA, disclosed that the advertising truck was not registered with the agency for the deplorable purpose for which it was deployed by the company.
“We wish to state, without equivocation, that no outdoor mobile advert truck within the jurisdiction of our dear state is licensed to display such crass immorality of the calibre that the owner(s) of this unregistered truck exhibited on our roads over the weekend,” the agency said.
The agency cautioned that “the government of Lagos State, under the leadership of Governor Babajide Sanwoolu, has zero tolerance for any slightest attempt by anyone, under whatever guise, to debase the moral fabric of our dear state. Nobody/company can hide under the guise of engaging in outdoor advertising business to display obscenity that is antithetical to our cherished cultural and moral values.”
It stressed that the full weight of the law, as enshrined in the agency’s extant law, will be meted on the company behind the erring outdoor mobile truck, after due investigations must have been concluded.
LASAA also promised members of the public that the agency would, henceforth, scrutinise the activities of mobile trucks to forestall a recurrence of such obscenity.
However, the management of Pro-Vision Media Systems Limited, has denied being the owner of the truck. The advertising agency said the truck had been sold to a third party since October 2018.
A part of the company’s statement said, “Pro-Vision wishes to inform the general public that the company did not partake in and was not responsible for the open display by semi-nude women on a public road in Lekki, Lagos, as reported in the social media.
“Although the truck with vehicle registration number APP 713 XL, which conveyed the semi-nude women is registered in the name of Pro-Vision, the company had sold the said truck since October 2018 and transferred ownership and possession of the truck to the buyer who represented that the truck was to be used for haulage.”
Advertising plays a critical role in influencing and communicating social values. This advert is derogatory to womanhood and violates the ethics of the advertising practice. The culprits should be brought to book. Advertisements should responsibly reflect and shape our values and appropriately position our country, Nigeria, as a responsible state.
PZ Cussons Chemistry Challenge: Winners emerge at grand finale
Aderibigbe Eniola Peace, from Babcock University High School, has emerged winner of the 2019 PZ Cussons Chemistry Challenge, which was held on July 30, 2019, while Adele Chika of Jephthah Comprehensive Secondary School, Port Harcourt, and Ojuba Mezisashe Shalom of Loyola Jesuit College, Abuja, came second and third, respectively.
The top six finalists from across the nation, who took part in the finals, were Ojuba Mezisashe Shalom, Loyola Jesuit College, Abuja; Andrew Ulan Sylvia, Premiere Academy, Abuja; Ugboma David Rex, Makun High School, Sagamu; Aderibigbe Eniola Peace, Babcock University High School; Adele Chika, Jephthah Comprehensive Secondary School, Port Harcourt; and Ndidi Christabel Chukwufumnanya, Demonstration Staff Secondary School, Asaba.
The top three winners received a trophy, a medal and N1,000,000, N750,000, and N500,000, respectively. Additional prizes were laboratory equipment for the winners’ schools. The fourth, fifth and sixth-placed finalists went home with consolation prizes.
The competition was sponsored by Premier and for better inclusion a regional approach was adopted for the first time, making the competition a national competition, with three examination hubs in Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt.
Apart from this being the first time the competition would be going national, it was also the first time three females qualified for the finals. And for the first time a female, Ojuba Mezisashe Shalom, scored the highest during the practical stage.
Over 7,500 students contested in the first stage of the competition in an online CBT quiz across Nigeria. The top 600 candidates qualified for a controlled CBT, 200 from each region, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Lagos. Thirteen candidates qualified from each region to sit for a practical exam during the third phase of the competition.
An advisory board, led by Professor Oladele Osinbajo (professor of chemistry, University of Ibadan) was in charge of collating questions and managing proceedings during the exams to ensure utmost quality.
Prof. Osinbajo, in his remarks about the competition, said, “The PZ Cussons Chemistry Competition is designed to promote the study of chemistry among students while demonstrating the relevance of chemistry in our society through an open competition among public and private secondary school students. And, honestly, the integrity of the competition is unmatched.”
The PZ Cussons Chemistry Challenge is endorsed by the Lagos State Ministry of Education, Chemistry Society of Nigeria, Institute of Chartered Chemists of Nigeria and the National Parent-Teacher Association.
Since its inception in 2013, the competition has grown as more than thirteen thousand (13,000) students registered for the 2019 edition.
“The overall objective is to continue to make PZ Cussons Chemistry Challenge the number one platform for the support of chemistry learning in secondary schools across Nigeria, said Charles Nnochiri, head of marketing, PZ Cussons.