Nigerian advertisers can no longer use foreign models and voice-over artists, and there's more to come

August 24, 2022
2 min read

The news

  • The Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) has banned its members from using foreign models and voice-over artists in Nigeria.
  • This directive will take effect from October 1, 2022, and was contained in a statement issued by the Director General of the Council, Dr Olalekan Fadolapo, on Monday, August 22, 2022. Ongoing adverts are not affected.
  • Before now, the ban on using foreign models was already in place; ARCON has only now prohibited using non-Nigerian voiceover artists as part of the Nigerian government’s plan to develop local talent.

Some insights about ARCON

ARCON is the body that regulates all things advertising in Nigeria. This includes determining who can be an advertising practitioner, conducting professional exams, and controlling how ads should be made.

The advertising regulator was previously known as the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria, but the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) Bill, which was passed in July 2022, effectively changed its name to ARCON.

In the last few years, ARCON has been trying to make some inroads into regulating the digital space. In 2019, the Advertising Standards Panel (ASP), a statutory committee of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), issued a directive to Nigerian brands to submit their ads for vetting before putting them on social media and websites.

They would also pay ₦25,000 for the "vetting" process.


It caused an uproar on social media, with many Nigerians describing it as another dictatorial government policy. 

Interestingly, in 2018, the Nigerian Court of Appeal, in the MIC Royal Limited v. APCON case, ruled that the regulatory body's powers did not extend to non-advertising practitioners.

As this recent directive shows, only members are affected, and it seems ARCON may have learnt its lessons.  
There's more coming from ARCON, however, as Fadolapo has hinted at possible regulation on social media adverts.

Writer, Humanoid, Forever she/her, Lover of words. Find me on Twitter @OnomeOneyibo.
Writer, Humanoid, Forever she/her, Lover of words. Find me on Twitter @OnomeOneyibo.
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Writer, Humanoid, Forever she/her, Lover of words. Find me on Twitter @OnomeOneyibo.

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