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Nigeria.                          Source: PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / Getty

Nigeria is the first country to ban all non-Nigerian models and actors from voicing and starring in Nigerian commercials. According to a statement from the Advertising Regulatory Council Of Nigeria (ARCON), this is an “action aimed at growing the Nigerian advertising industry.”

“All advertisements, advertising, and marketing communications materials targeted or exposed on the Nigerian advertising space are to use only Nigerian models and voice-over artists,” the statement read. “Advertisers, advertisement agencies, media houses, the advertising community, and the general public are hereby enjoined to take note.”

Steve Babaeko, president of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria, said Nigerians haven’t been the ones representing their country to the fullest in their television commercials.

“Ten 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,” Babaeko told The London Times.

He added, “People will tell you, ‘There are about 200 million of us. Are you telling me you could not find indigenous models for this commercial?’”

Banning non-Nigerian talent from starring in commercials will lead to more Nigerian talent getting the spotlight they deserve. Hiring so much talent from outside of the country leaves their own stars underutilized and ignored.

Before this ban was announced, advertising firms had already began taking steps to encourage the use of Nigerian talent. Advertising firms in Nigeria had to pay 100,000-Naira, which is around $240, in order to hire Non-Nigerian models for their ads and commercials.

This change will take effect in October 2022. All commercials that are being aired now with non-Nigerian talent are safe until then.

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