Nigeria has prohibited international actors and models from appearing in its commercial campaigns.

Nigeria has decided to ban the use of foreign models and voice actors in advertisements as of October 1. This decision will revolutionize the country’s advertising industry, which is expected to be worth €450 million in 2021. It also has the potential to affect the fashion and communications industries more broadly. The prohibition by the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ACRON) on using Nigerian models and pop artists in all advertisements and promotional materials was shared immediately on Twitter by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture of Nigeria.

Advertising televised in Nigeria for many years has included white actors and is narrated by persons with British accents, as explained to the Economic Times by Steve Babaeko, director of the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria. When compared to international businesses, local brands frequently hire foreign models for their marketing. People will tell you, “There are roughly 200 million of us. Are you telling me you could not locate indigenous models for this commercial?” in today’s world due to a growing sense of national pride and the need to openly claim one’s heritage and defend one’s identity.

This “new sense of pride,” which is particularly strong among the younger generation, has provided a favorable environment for the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture of Nigeria to take its most recent decision. The ministry does not intend to isolate Nigeria from the West with this move, but rather hopes to support local talent that will help the nation’s economy and the advertising sector grow in the future. After a protracted transition period in which businesses were required to pay a premium of 100,000 Naira (about 240 euros) for each international model used in their commercials, the prohibition on using foreign models will go into effect on Oct. 1, which falls on British Independence Day.

The British company AMV BBDO, which has already shot an African campaign for Guinness called “Black Shines Brightest” in Lagos with a Nigerian director and local models, was one of the first companies to comply with the new law. This is only one illustration of the transformation the nation’s advertising sector is undergoing, and it makes us question if other governments would adopt a policy similar to Nigeria’s that encourages more homegrown creative endeavors.

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