Frequently Asked Questions

APCON Background

The adoption in January 1998 by the National Council of Ministers of a board of National Mass Communication Policy was a significant milestone in the birth of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria. Various discussions which followed articulated the relevance and leadership role of advertising in the nations social, political and economic activities as well as the need for recognition and regulation.

The Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), established by the Advertising Practitioners act 55 of 1988, was a logical outcome of the above and accords legislative recognition to advertising as a profession in Nigeria.

The APCON Professional Diploma in Advertising is a qualifying certificate for registration into the advertising profession. The basic qualification for enrolment into the programme is a bachelors degree or the Higher National Diploma in any Discipline.

Candidate who holds a degree or HND in Marketing, Mass Communication and Graphic Arts would be exempted from some of the courses on individual Merit.

The Examinations are conducted twice in a year: June and November.

Candidates may avail themselves of preparatory lectures offered at various approved Study Centre.

Functions of APCON

Section 1, of Advertising PractitionersAct 55 of 1988 which set up APCON states its functions as:

  • Determining who are advertising Practitioners.
  • Determining what standards of knowledge and skill are to be attained by persons seeking to become registered as members of the advertising profession, and reviewing those standards from time to time.
  • Securing in accordance, with the provisions of the Decree, the establishment and maintenance of a Register of Practitioners, and the Publication from time to time, of lists of those persons.
  • Regulating and controlling the practice of advertising in all its aspects and ramifications.

Anyone who satisfies the Council that he or she is undergoing a course of study recognized by the Council and leading to the award of:

a.   APCON Diploma/Professional Certificate
b.   CAM or BEEC Diploma in Advertising
c.   Degree/HND in Marketing, Mass Communication, Graphic Arts or Advertising
d.   NIJ PGD Advertising

• Associate Member

Anyone above the age of 21, who possesses any of the degrees or diploma listed under the student category, and is employed in a recognized organization where he or she can acquire professional experience. He or she must be or good character and must not have been convicted in Nigeria or elsewhere of a criminal offence.

• Full Member

Anyone who has met the requirements for Associate Membership and in addition has been in continuous advertising practice for a minimum of 5 years.

• Fellow

To be a fellow, the applicant must have fulfilled the conditions for Associate and full Membership. In addition, he or she must have been in continuous active advertising practice in the 15 years preceding the date of his or her application, and must show evidence of significant contributions to the practice of advertising.

Enrollment for the Examination

Application for registration as a student must be made on the prescribed form which requires an undertaking on the part of the applicant to abide by the rules laid down by the Council from time to time.

Every applicant will be required to produce satisfactory evidence of age, name, character and eligibility together with certified photocopies of educational certificates and four certified passport size photographs.

Examination Philosophy

The examination is designed to test candidates knowledge both in the theory and practice of advertising. Emphasis is on professional knowledge and application of principles to practice.

The challenge from the contemporary advertising environment requires that present and future advertising practitioners demonstrate knowledge and ability in solving advertising and marketing communications related problems.

Thus, the syllabus is guided by the need to provide the students a perfect blend of professional and theoretical knowledge.


Part 1

101   Introduction to Mass Communication

102   Principles of Marketing

103   Principles of Advertising

104   Principles of Public Relations

105   Advertising Law and Ethics

Part 2

201   Consumer Behavior

202   Advertising Copy, Layout and Production Techniques

203   ICT

204   Research Methodology

205   Quantitative Analysis

Part 3

301   Advertising Agency Management & Organization

302   Campaign Planning & Execution

303  Media Management

304   Integrated Marketing Communication

305   Project

Course Description



    - Definition of Mass Communication
    - Characteristics of Mass Communication
    - Elements of the communication Process
    - Communication Theories
    - Media Content and Message Patterns
    - Media Effect: Principles and Theories
    - Survey of Mass Media and their Adjuncts
    - Role of Mass Communication in Society


    - Meaning and Evolution of Marketing
    - Nature and Significance of Marketing
    - Approaches to the Study of Marketing
    - The Marketing Environment
    - Marketing Process: product planning, Consumer
      analysis, pricing, sales, Distribution, promotion, etc
    - Market Segmentation and Analysis
    - Social and Political Marketing
    - Social Responsibility and Ethics
    - Branding; Brand Identify Structure & Brand Management


    - Definitions of Advertising
    - Types and Functions of Advertising
    - History and Development of Advertising in Nigeria
    - Structure of Advertising Industry: agency client and media
    - Development of Advertising Agencies
    - Functions of the Advertising Manager
    - The Advertising Brief: writing and assessing advertising proposals
    - Advertising Process: how ads work
    - Role of Advertising in Marketing
    - Career Development in Advertising
    - Advertising Training & Education


    - Definition of Public Relation
    - Relationship and Differences between Public Relations and Advertising
    - Managing Customer Relations
    - Working with the Media
    - Understanding Public Opinion
    - Crisis Communications


    - Structure of Advertising Regulation and Control: legal & voluntary mechanisms
    - Basic Law and Ethics
    - Elements of Business Law
    - Law of Contract
    - Liability in Tort
    - Pertinent Torts in Advertising: defamation,copyright,
      passing-off, negligence, invasion of privacy, obscenity & indecency, etc
    - Code of Ethical Conduct
    - Guidelines on Advertising of: tobacco products, alcoholic
      beverages, food, drugs, cosmetics,       financial institutions, political advertising, etc
    - Role of Government Agencies
    - Regulatory Bodies: origin, structure and functions
    - Role of Professional Associations: AAAN, BON, MIPAN, OAAN, ADVAN, etc
    - Ethical Problems: direct media buying, media brokerage, etc



    - Basis of Human Behavior
    - Nature and Determinant of Behavior
    - Behavioral Development
    - Motivation: Psychological and Sociological behavior
    - Cognitive Processes, dissonance, congruity, balance
    - Perception: nature and determinants
    - Learning Process
    - Personality Development and Socialization
    - Attitude Formation and Change
    - Family and Culture
    - Social Stratification
    - Consumer Behavior in Practice


    - Nature of Advertising Writing
    - Copywriting Principles
    - Copy Strategy
    - Copy Format and Layout
    - Writing Copy for Newspapers
    - Writing Copy for Magazines
    - Writing Copy for Radio and Television
    - Writing Copy for Web Advertising
    - Design Principles
    - Stages of Advertising Layout
    - Designing for Various Media
    - Introduction to Various Digital Layouts Programmes
    - Photography and Lithography
    - Printing Methods/Processes
    - Broadcast Production Principles/processes
    - Production Techniques for Print Media
    - Production Techniques for Radio and Television
    - Role of Computer in Modern Advertising Production


    - Tools of ICT
    - Relevant terms in ICT and their definitions
    - Deployment of ICT in Advertising: copy, design & production
    - Convergence of Information Technologies: implications for advertising


    - Nature of Science and scientific inquiry
    - Research Defined
    - Types of Research
    - Marketing Research Activities
    - Role of Research in Advertising
    - Functional Areas of Advertising Research: copy, media
      effectiveness. Motivation, habits and consumer research
    - Research Approaches in Advertising survey, experiment,
      focus group, content analysis etc
    - Conducting Advertising Research
    - Qualities of Good Research
    - Case Studies in Advertising Research


    - Nature of Quantitative Analysis
    - Scope of Statistics
    - Overview of Data Collection Methods
    - Data Presentation: tables, graphs, frequency distribution, mean, median, mode.
    - Comparison of measures
    - Measures of Dispersion: range, standard deviation, variance. Skewness, etc
    - Inferential Statistics
    - Statistical Testing
    - Correlation and Regression
    - Probability Theory
    - Uses of Computer in Quantitative Analysis



    - Management Principles
    - Scope of Advertising Management
    - Agency Management
    - Assessing Advertising Proposals & Briefs
    - Making Presentations: pitching for accounts
    - Agency-Client Relationship
    - Economics of Advertising: budget control measures
    - Measuring Effectiveness of Advertising
    - Management of Corporate Advertising
    - Handling Consumer Promotions
    - Managing Government Advertising


    - The meaning of Campaign
    - Types and Structures of Campaign
    - Determinants of Advertising Campaign
    - Setting campaign Objectives: DAGMAR and its limitations
    - Place of Research in Campaign Planning
    - Marketing Analysis and Campaign Planning
    - Behavioral studies in Campaign Management
    - Determining Advertising Budget: methods and practical application
    - Creativity in Advertising: approaches, styles and appeals
    - Campaign Execution: coordination of activities (progress monitoring)
    - Planning Different Kinds of Campaign
    - Problems in Campaign Execution


    - The media Department: structure and functions
    - Functions of Commercial Department in the Media House
    - Roles of Media in Advertising
    - Media types and characteristics
    - Setting media Objectives
    - Principles of media planning
    - Media strategy: basic concepts and applications
    - Developing a media plan
    - Managing media budget: considerations in media selection and sales
    - Media buying and Compliance
    - Media Analysis and Evaluation
    - Media Monitoring


    - Perspectives of Integrated Communications
    - Elements of Promotional Strategy: publicity, personal selling,
      sales promotion, public relations
    - Promotional Strategy Plans: objectives, target audience message development, etc
    - Management of Personal Selling
    - Consumer Promotion: trends and tactics
    - Marketing Public Relations: fund raising, lobbying, and promoting politicians.
    - Campaign management
    - Issue Marketing: information, education and communications strategy
    - Marketing Politics: the integrative approach
    - Corporate Communications Strategy
    - Legal and Ethical Consideration in marketing communications.

    Note: Apart from testing basic principles in integrated marketing communications,the
    paper will examine in depth understanding of application of those principles to real or
    hypothetical cases.


    To qualify for the award of the certificate, a candidate shall submit a research project
    which represents the student?s independent scholarly contribution to the advertising