Just last week, Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Information and Culture released a statement on Twitter, announcing that the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ACRON) has formally banned the use of foreign models and of voiceover actors in the Nigerian media.
For many years, commercials often aired in Nigeria featured white actors and were narrated by people with a British accent. However, with the new ban in place from October, the country is enforcing a new rule that prohibits white or non-Nigerian models and voice-over artists from appearing in advertisements in order to favor local talent. This decision is a major step for the country which seems to want to resume the narrative of representation in the indigenous population of the country. In an interview with the Time, Chairman of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria, Steve Babaeko, said: “10 to 20 years ago, if you checked off the adverts, I’d say they were almost 50/50 in terms of foreign faces and all voiceovers were British accents. “Indeed, most Nigerian brands were more inclined to use foreign faces.
Babaeko notes that over the past few years, Nigeria appears to have gone through a “kind of renaissance” where he has noticed his people have found a “new sense of merging pride” among the younger population. He added,
“People will tell you, ‘We are about 200 million. Are you telling me you couldn’t find any native models for this commercial? »
With the new ban, many see the country “finally catching up with national sentiment”. The new ban comes into effect from October 1, in hopes it will be the first step in empowering its people to tell Africa’s history and stories. If companies choose to disobey the ban, they would be required to pay a fee for each foreign model used in an advertisement.
Ban on the use of foreign models and voice-over artists on the Nigerian advertising medium/media pic.twitter.com/5pICTqOUt1
— Fed Min of Info & Cu (@FMICNigeria) August 23, 2022
Nigeria becomes the first country to ban white and British models in all advertisements.
“We have over 200 million beautiful people here, we will use ours” ~ Nigeria pic.twitter.com/7RV6DZKooL
— Africa™ Archives (@Africa_Archives) August 31, 2022
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