As per Nigeria’s advertisement regulation body cometh October and the appearance of white models and voice-over artists will no longer be permitted in the commercials from Nigeria’s Independence Day falling on Oct 1.
The Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON), issued a circular notifying that all advertisements, advertising and marketing communications materials are to make use of only Nigerian model and voice-over artists. Ongoing campaigns will be permitted to run out their terms although new applications or revalidation will not be granted whatsoever.
While many are in favour of the controversial announcement, many have also slammed the decision makers for promoting xenophobia in the form of reverse racism. Olalekan Fadolapo, head of ARCON in his defence was of the opinion that the advertising should resonate with the people and the regulation has been brought in sync with that. He also said that such bans though in an unwritten form were already being followed in other African nations.
Further justifying the erroneous move, Steve Babaeko, President of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria said that in the past few years Nigeria appears to have gone through a kind of renaissance where its people have found a new sense of pride merging within the younger population. He added, “People will tell you, there are about 200 million of us, can we not find indigenous models for a commercial.”
ARCON explained that such measures were already pipelining as earlier it was decided that the companies had to pay 100,000 Naira which is about $240 as tariff for every foreign model used in an advertisement to reduce their usage. Similarly, the current announcement intends no harm to anybody in particular and is in line with the government policy of developing local talent, inclusive economic growth and the need to take necessary steps and actions aimed at growing the Nigerian advertising industry.