In a bold announcement, Nigeria has become the first country ever to implement a total ban on foreign models when it comes to tv ads. It will also include western, white actors who have appeared regularly on the country’s screens. This is a result of the Nigerian government trying to “develop local talent” and it’s set to start in October of this year.
According to The Times of London, this ban would mean that all non-Nigerian models and voiceover artists in the country will be out of a job. In addition, this will be a huge cultural shift. For years, foreign faces and British-accented voices flooded Nigerian television screens.
“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,” Steve Babaeko, president of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria, told The Times.
“People will tell you, ‘There are about 200 million of us. Are you telling me you could not find indigenous models for this commercial?,’” Babaeko stated. The advertising industry in Nigeria is estimated to be around $450 million in 2021. This ban could help boost its popularity.
In a statement, the Advertising Regulatory Council Of Nigeria (ARCON) explained:
“All advertisements, advertising, and marketing communications materials targeted or exposed on the Nigerian advertising space are to use only Nigerian models and voice-over artists. Advertisers, advertisement agencies, media houses, the advertising community, and the general public are hereby enjoined to take note.”
ARCON’s Director General Olalekan Foladapo also said that ongoing advertising campaigns are safe and will continue until they run out their terms. Foladapo added that “subsequent applications for revalidation for continued exposure of such materials will not be granted” by the Advertising Regulatory Council.