ARCON: Nigeria Bans Advertisers from Using Foreign Contents and Models for Ads and Marketing in the Country

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Highlights of the Story

  • Nigeria Advertising Regulatory Council (ARCON) has announced that advertisers targeting the Nigerian market must use a cumulative 75% of local content in all ads and marketing.
  • ARCON's decision is expected to create 500,000 job opportunities and counter the use of foreign marketing materials which has cost the country over N120 billion.
  • The guidelines published by ARCON contain details of the new advertising order which has effects from January 1, 2023.
  • The new marketing/Ads guideline may affect those social media marketing tools to promote their businesses which may lead to a high cost of advertisement for Nigerian businesses.

ARCON New Ads and Marketing Guidelines to Advertisers in Nigeria

T(caps)he Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON), Nigeria’s advertising regulatory body has directed that from January 1, 2023, advertisers must use a cumulative 75% local content in all ads, marketing, and promotion targeting the Nigerian local market. ARCON made the announcement early this week through its Director General, Olalekan Fadolapo.

In a press release titled, “ARCON to compel minimum of 75 % cumulative local content in advertisements targeted at the Nigerian Market”, ARCON, stated that Nigeria's advertising industry has lost billions of Naira worth annually to oversea marketing material which has contributed to unemployment in the country. The body added its decision is part of the federal government's effort to boost job creation in the country.

ARCON: Nigeria Bans Advertisers from Using Foreign Contents and Models for Ads and Marketing in the Country



“The Nigerian advertising Industry loses over N120bn annually to the production of advertising, advertisement, and marketing communication materials outside the country. This has continuously led to the loss of jobs in the industry, retarding the growth and development of the Nigerian Advertising Industry”.

“The current efforts of the Federal government aimed at job creation, inclusive growth, and development of various sectors of the economy are negatively affected by this trend which if not regulated, will lead to continuous decimation of the Nigerian advertising industry,” ARCON stated.

ARCON Guidelines to Advertisers in Nigeria

To meet its objective against economic loss associated with the use of foreign materials for advertisement, ARCON gives the following guidelines:

(i) Models and Voice-over artists shall be Nigerian citizens.

(ii) Production and advertising, advertisement, and marketing communication materials must be done in Nigeria.

(iii) Ambience should reflect Nigeria as much as possible.

(iv) Production crew may include foreigners. However, Nigerians and Nigerian organizations must partake in production.

(v) Post-production may be done at any location (within or outside Nigeria).

ARCON New Ads and Marketing Guidelines to Advertisers in Nigeria



What is Expected from ARCON New Ads and Marketing Decision

In its statement, ARCON believes that its new policy will enable Nigerians and the Nigerian economy to benefit from an industry that has benefited tremendously from Nigerians as consumers and the Nigerian economy.

“Annually, this policy will create over 500,000 new job opportunities within the advertising industry with a positive multiplier effect on the economy. Current job holders will be protected as the Nigerian advertising ecosystem will witness progressive growth,” ARCON stated.

The Advertising regulatory body concluded that its objective as a body is to continue to promote ethical advertising and marketing communications and that its current decision will discourage leakages and capital flights being experienced in the country as a result of foreign production of advertising campaigns.

Nigeria Advertising Regulatory Council (ARCON) and Existing Laws

Nigeria already has strict laws regarding the use of foreign content or talent adverts that targets its market. For instance, as of 2017, every ad using a non-Nigerian model had to pay N500,000 per advertising concept, and this has been implemented.

With this new act being signed, Nigeria is the first country to ban foreign models in its advertising. Other countries have their laws to guide the advertising market but none is yet to ban foreign voiceovers, foreign models, and everything stated by the ARCON president.

Section 8(1)(i) of the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria act No. 23 mandates ARCON to ensure that it preserves Nigerian local content and uses indigenous skills as an important element in advertising, advertisement, and marketing communication materials for ads directed at the Nigerian market.

ARCON: Nigeria Bans Advertisers from Using Foreign Contents and Models for Ads and Marketing in the Country



ARCON’s responsibilities also include supervision, monitoring, and regulation of everything relating to advertising, advertisement, creative ratings, consumer insights research, marketing communication research, audit bureau of circulations, and more.

How ARCON New Decision May Affect Nigerians and Their Businesses

Nigerians have mixed feelings over ARCON Decision, while many Nigerians think this is a good move, others feel this can have negative consequences on the average Nigerian. For instance, since ARCON signed its new act, it has sued Meta for $70 million (N30 billion) on issues relating to social media advertisement.

Most Nigerian businesses advertise their products and services through Meta (Facebook and Instagram) sponsored ads. Should this act affect social media advertisement, it may result in a great loss of opportunities or a slowdown of small businesses that would not afford highly paid advertisements in contrast to what social media-sponsored ads offer.

Many Nigerians also bother about the reaction of other countries to Nigeria banning foreign voice-overs and models. By denying foreigners opportunities in the country, many Nigerians who also offer similar advertising services abroad may end up losing business deals.

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