Online Publishers Boycott Political Campaigns

Dotun Oladipo


Publishers of online news in the country have decided to ignore the ongoing political campaigns in protest against diversion of N150 million advertisements meant for online publications

ONLINE publishers in Nigeria have accused campaign organisations of the political parties in the country of diverting N150 million meant for online adverts for the 2015 general elections. Based on the development, the publishers have directed its members to boycott the activities of political parties in Nigeria with immediate effect.

The publishers who met in Lagos State on Saturday, March 14, to review the activities of political parties in relation to advert patronage rose to a conclusion that campaign organisations of the political parties had deliberately diverted advertising funds meant for online news platforms in the country.

They condemned the development and called on all news publishing online platforms in the country to shun all party related activities until the abnormally could be addressed. The publishers expressed disgust at the gimmick of the campaign organisations to use the advertisement streaming platforms of Google and other third party advertisement streaming organisations, which pay little or nothing for it, instead of dealing directly with the Nigerian publishers who are creating jobs for millions of Nigerians in the online industry.

Also, the publishers ordered the immediate stoppage of online political advertisements with foreign inputs with immediate effect. The publishers alleged that one of the two major political parties in the country had budgeted not less than N150 million for online advertisement campaign.

Regrettably, until date, the online publishers said no credible online news website had indicated it had benefitted from the N150 million advertisement campaign funds. The deputy director general of one of the campaign organisations told an online publisher at the Presidential Villa in Abuja that approval had been given and money released for the party’s advertisement campaign on credible news websites but expressed surprise that the money had been diverted.

The online publishers alleged that aside from streaming political advertisements through third parties on the news websites, which had created the impression that advertisements had been given, what some of those involved in the campaigns themselves had done was to quickly open phoney news websites and diverted the funds for the advertisement campaign into private pockets.

According to the publishers, it was in the light of these revelations that the online publishers decided to, with immediate effect, boycott the activities of the political parties, some of which dump press statements on the online news websites as early as 6:00am and send as many as 10 of such releases in a day.

—  Mar. 23, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT


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