As of October 1st, 2022, Nigeria will introduce a ban on all foreign actors and voiceover artists in advertisements distributed across the country. This measure, which was announced during the fourth week of August by the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON), makes the country—home to 200 million people—the first known to enact such a law, which seeks to foster more local involvement in the industry.
Nigeria is enforcing a new rule that bars white or non-Nigeria models and voice-over artists to be in advertisements as a way to foster local talent. Nigeria has had white models and those with British accents narrating their adverts and doing voiceovers, for years, and the ban is a major move for a country that wants to take back the narrative of representation in the country’s native population.
Steve Babaeko who is the president of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria told The Times “10 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. This was because most Nigerian brands were more inclined to use foreign faces.”
Nigerian brands would often use foreign faces while international corporations would simply import their global campaigns without ensuring any edits. Although this recent news has managed to make headlines across the world, Babeko noted that Nigeria appears to have gone through some kind of Renaissance throughout the past 8 years where he noticed that Nigerian people have found a new sense of pride merging within the younger population.
The strategy is already in place and working, according to Dazed, a British agency AMV BBDO has already shot an African campaign for Guinness, ‘Black Shines Brightest’, in Lagos with a Nigerian director and local models, reflecting the shift in the nation’s advertising industry.
“We have more than 200 Million beautiful people here we will use our own” ~ Nigeria
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