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Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria, ARCON, has banned the use of foreign models and voice-over artists


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The Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria, ARCON, has banned the use of foreign models and voice-over artists in any advertisement targeted or exposed in the Nigerian advertising space, with effect from October 1, 2022. Voice-overs in British and American accents were once ubiquitous in Nigerian adverts, but not anymore.

A statement by ARCON released on August 22nd explained that the ban was 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 ban would cover all non-Nigerians and will put paid to the number of western actors who have appeared regularly in the country’s television adverts.

The statement, e-signed by the Director-General of ARCON, Dr. Olalekan Fadolapo noted that the decision was based on the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria Act No. 23 of 2022. He explained that the policy would not affect ongoing advertising campaigns, saying they would be permitted to run out their terms.

The move makes Nigeria the first country in the world to ban white models in advertising.

The statement added: “All advertisements, advertising and marketing communications materials are to make use of only Nigerian model 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)."

Even before the ban was announced brands had to pay 100,000-Naira (about $145) tariff for every foreign model used in an advert, making Nigeria one of the world’s most uncompromising environments for media representation. When the measure kicks off on October 1, deterrence will become permanent.

Under the new law, organizations giving awards to corporations or individuals will now have to write to ARCON to establish the basis and process of arriving at the awards.