Group Managing Director of SO&U limited, Mr. Udeme Ufot
Group Managing Director of SO&U Group, Mr. Udeme Ufot, has charged media organisations to discourage political advertisements that are not in sync with professional standards.
He urged them to thoroughly vet materials and obtain approval from regulatory authorities before putting them out for public consumption.
Presenting a paper on ‘Trends and Consequences of Smear Political Campaigns’ at a forum organised by the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) on political communication, he said: “Smear campaigns utilise unverifiable rumours and distortions, half-truths and even outright lies. Even when the facts are seen to lack substance, the target’s reputation, in most cases, is often already tarnished before the truth is known. Often, such targets are typically forced to focus on correcting the false impression rather than the real issue.”
He charged industry regulators to live up to their statutory responsibilities by ensuring that all contraventions of the regulatory process are appropriately sanctioned.
At the event, stakeholders in the communication industry highlighted the rules of engagement applicable to communication in electioneering.
They called for campaign communications to be fair and truthful enough to aid democratic choice by the electorate.
According to Ufot, when political campaigns are not issue-based, there is a strong tendency to dwell on theatrics, verbal assaults and character assassination.