Home Nigeria History Made as Nigeria Bans Foreign Models in Commercial Adverts

History Made as Nigeria Bans Foreign Models in Commercial Adverts

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Nigeria Bans Foreign Models
Nigeria Bans Foreign Models

By Uche Amunike

History has just been made as Nigeria bans foreign models in commercial adverts targeted for the Nigerian advertising space with effect from October 1, 2022.

The ban was announced by the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria, ARCON, after banning the use of foreign voiceover artists and models on any advertisements targeted on the Nigerian advertising space, effective October 1, 2022.

According to a statement released by ARCON, on why Nigeria bans foreign models, it explained that it was expedient as the federal government is focused about growing the Nigerian advertising industry. Therefore, the ban was necessary to aid the government’s policy of developing local talent, inclusive economic growth and the need to do all that was necessary to grow the country’s advertising industry.

The statement which was signed by the ARCON Director-General, Dr Olalekan Fadolapo, partly read: ‘ In line with the federal government’s policy of developing local talent , inclusive economic growth and the need to take necessary steps and actions aimed at growing the Nigerian advertising industry, the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON), being the apex advertising, advertisement and marketing communications regulatory agency of the federal government, has in accordance with its statutory mandates, responsibilities and powers as conveyed by the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria Act No 23 of2022 bans the use of foreign models and voice-over artists on any advertisement targeted or exposed on the Nigerian advertising space with effect from 1st October, 2022’.

‘All advertisements, advertising and marketing communications materials are to make use of only Nigerian models and voice-over artists’.

‘Ongoing campaigns are permitted to run out their terms. However, subsequent applications for revalidation for continued exposure of such materials will not be granted by the Advertising Standards Panel (ASP).’

This move is historical because, it makes Nigeria the first country in the world to place a ban on foreign models in advertising. Note that before the ban was announced, the tariff paid by brands was N100,000 ( about $240) tariff for every foreign model used in an advert, making Nigeria one of the most uncompromising environments for media representation in the world. As soon as the ban becomes effective , October 1st, the deterrence will become permanent.

In his reaction, Head of the Nigerian Advertising Corporation, Steve Babaeko, stated: ‘Ten to 20 years ago if you checked the commercials, I would say they were almost 50/50 in terms of foreign faces and all the voiceovers were British accents’. He reiterated that multinational corporations like Coca-Cola or LG relied on their global advert campaigns, which always featured white models which leaves him wondering if out of 200 million Nigerians, there were no indigenous models to be found for such commercials.

The new law connotes that awards given to individuals or organizations will now have to be done in conjunction with ARCON as they would henceforth write first to the agency in order to establish the yardstick responsible for establishing the process and basis for arriving at the awards.

Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari recently signed a bill that afforded ARCON the mandate of making sure that local Nigerian content and use of indigenous talents as an important element in local advertising marketing, communication services.

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