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One of the basic responsibilities of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) is curbing incidence of non professionals practicing advertising for gain in Nigeria. The Act establishing APCON charges it with the responsibilities of among others; determining who qualified advertising practitioners are; regulating and controlling the practice of advertising in Nigeria and also conducting qualifying examinations in the profession. In regards to the above, it is a criminal offence in Nigeria without due registration by APCON.

In order to reduce the prospect and distraction of large scale prosecution APCON decide to initiate and implement a special registration scheme for persons who have engaged in Advertising functions for five or more years. The scheme was tagged the Executive Professional Examinations Programme. The executive Professionals examinations is a special programme initiated for the purpose of admitting into the profession persons holding senior position in the Advertising industry who do not possess the prescribed degrees in Advertising, marketing, Mass Communication or Graphic Arts. The programme involves a short training and a qualifying examination for candidates who meet the requirements for participation in the programme.

The training programme, though brief, has courses such as Advertising Theory which is aimed at actuating candidate with basic principles and concept in Advertising to enable them clearly distinguish the concept and relate the principles to Advertising Agency Management aimed at acquainting candidate with structure and options (procedure) of an Advertising Agency and their way of interfacing with other arms of the marketing communication especially the planning, buying and execution of media orders.

Other courses offered are Advertising Management in Advertiser company which deal with the organization (structure) and operation (procedure) of the Marketing/Advertising department of the advertiser company and how the advertiser manage his marketing communications programme as well as advertising regulations and ethics which seeks to acquaint candidate with social, ethical and legal issues related to advertising as well as basic principle of provision of advertising regulation in Nigeria.

As can be deduced, the under listed courses offered in a programme covers all aspect of advertising and a fresh entrant into the profession would after participating in the programme boast of knowing much about advertising. After the brief course study comes in an examination following which successful candidate are licensed to become Associate Practitioners (arpa)

I encourage those practicing advertising for gain without due registration to catch on the next opportunity to regularize their status. Those who are already registered are equally encourage to preach the gospel to their colleagues and friend who are not yet registered but are practicing advertising, to do so either through writing the APCON professional Diploma in Advertising or through the next Executive Professional Examination Programme. It might not be business as usual for those illegal practitioners since APCON is doing all it can to sanitize the practice of the marketing communication industry.