*Nigeria has become the first country to ban all non-Nigerian actors and models from starring or voicing in Nigerian commercials.
This is an “action aimed at growing the Nigerian advertising industry,” according to a statement released by the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON).
“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,” the statement further read. “Advertisers, advertisement agencies, media houses, the advertising community, and the general public are hereby enjoined to take note.”
Nigerians have not been the ones representing the country fully in the country’s television commercials, according to Steve Babaeko, president of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria.
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“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,” Babaeko told “The London Times.”
He added that many Nigerians often wonder why non-Nigerians get starring roles in commercials, yet there are over 200 million Nigerians among whom are models capable of serving those roles.
With this ban, it is expected that more indigenous models will be featured in more commercials. Hiring non-Nigerian talents is said to have led to many local artists being ignored or underutilized.
But even before this ban, advertising agents had begun encouraging the use of local models for commercials. One reason is that they spend much more to hire Non-Nigerian models for their ads and commercials.
On average, they pay 100,000 Naira (about $240) to hire Non-Nigerians.
The ban comes into effect in October 2022, so current commercials with Non-Nigerians have a short reprieve.