The Advertising Association of Ghana (AAG) is poised to submit a bill regulating advertising standards to the Minister of Trade, who AAG Executive Director Francis Dadzie believes will help move the bill into Parliament for a vote.

Appearing on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show on Tuesday, Dadzie lamented that too many advertising amateurs operate freely despite lacking a full appreciation of the powers and responsibilities inherent in advertising. He offers this bill as a mechanism to improve advertising standards by establishing a council that will oversee ads and the agencies that produce them.

The council will enforce standards in subject matter, standards that will be drafted with an eye to what Dadzie calls the “public conscience.” Mr. Dadzie said that the council will also determine what kind of training aspiring advertisers must undergo before earning their licenses.

According to Mr. Dadzie, the council’s main priorities will include insisting on truth in advertising and safeguarding indigenous concepts by ensuring that they continue to have a place in Ghanaian advertisements.

He is confident in the council’s ability to achieve these goals because it will vet all commercials before they air and because it will be empowered to levy fines against advertisers and media houses that violate its mandates. Mr. Dadzie added that in some cases, the council will have the option to rescind ad agencies’ licenses.

He anticipates little resistance in passing the bill because he has received support and encouragement from the Ministers of Trade, Information, and Communication, and a number of MPs including members of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Communication. However, he suggested that the bill might not reach Parliament until early 2013.

He says that if established, the council will be composed of 9 members drawn from the public and private sectors. They will include AAG representatives and high-ranking officials from the Ministries of Information and Trade.

Dadzie hopes that the council will be able to bring Ghana the advertising standards of countries like the UK, whose advertising regulations are more institutionalized than Ghana’s.

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