Nigeria to support local talent by banning foreign artists

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The prohibition on foreign performers is intended to support and develop local talent, but it could eventually breed xenophobia and reverse racism. According to Nigeria’s advertising regulation body, beginning in October, white voice actors and models will no longer be allowed to appear in commercials starting with Nigeria’s Independence Day, which falls on October 1. All advertisements, advertising, and marketing communications materials must only use Nigerian voice actors and models, according to a circular from the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON). Current campaigns may continue until they expire, but no new applications or revalidations will ever be accepted.

While many people support the contentious announcement, many others have criticised the decision-makers for encouraging reverse racism and xenophobia. Olalekan Fadolapo, the head of ARCON, argued in favour of his position by saying that the regulation had been updated to reflect the idea that advertising should resonate with consumers. He added that, although in an unwritten form, such prohibitions were already observed in other African countries.Steve Babaeko, president of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria, further defended the wrongdoing by claiming that in recent years, Nigeria has undergone a revival in which its people have discovered a renewed sense of pride that has merged with the younger generation.

According to ARCON, such actions were already being planned because it had previously been decided that companies would have to pay a tariff of 100,000 Naira ($240) for each foreign model used in an advertisement in order to limit their use. Similar to the previous announcement, this one has no malicious intent and is consistent with government initiatives to support inclusive economic growth, the advancement of local talent, and the expansion of the Nigerian advertising sector.

By Subhechcha Ganguly

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