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No Exemption To Ban On Foreign Models, Voice-Over Artists – ARCON DG, Fadolapo

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Dr. Olalekan Fadolapo, Registrar/Chief Executive, Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON)

The Director General of the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria, ARCON, Dr. Olalekan Fadolapo has said that there are no exemptions to the ban on the use of foreign models in Television Commercials (TVCs), voice-over artists, and other related materials including billboards that would run in the country.

“Even when they claim they want to do an ad that would take care of their continental market, they just must understand that Nigeria cannot be covered except those models and voice-over artists are Nigerians,” he stressed.

The Council had last week announced the ban at a Press Briefing on the new ARCON Law and the advertising framework in Nigeria. It said that the ban will take effect from the 1st of October 2022.

In an exclusive interview with Brand Communicator, the DG of ARCON, Dr. Fadolapo, said the essence of the ban is to develop local talents and contribute to the economic growth of the country, adding that there will be no exemption for certain personalities.

“The ban takes effect from October 1, 2022, it simply means that if you have an ongoing campaign, it can run through between now and the deadline and if you have concluded your campaign, you’ll also get approval. But from the first of October, when you are planning a campaign for the Nigerian market, you must make use of Nigerians.

“We have over two hundred million voices in Nigeria, so when you are preparing communication for the Nigerian market, use Nigerian voices to speak to us. Don’t import voices from Europe, South Africa, or neighbouring countries to do advertisement that is meant for Nigerians. It doesn’t speak well, with the ban we are encouraging the development of talents within the advertising space. We need to develop our market. For now, there is no exemption to the use of a foreign model.”

When asked if the ban is subjected to review in the long run, Dr. Fadolapo said, “There is no casting stone, what we are doing is not new, if you go to other markets, you’ll find out that it’s also applicable, some are written and some unwritten. If you go to South-Africa for example, you can’t say that you are a model and starts modelling for a product. There are rules and regulations that guide it. What we are saying is that, instead of giving Messi money call Okocha, and instead of bringing Ronaldo, we have a Kanu here. Instead of paying heavily for a foreign model, we agree that the world is a global village but within the space of globalization, we have what it’s called glocalization. So, we are promoting glocalization, meaning that we must encourage local talents.”

Speaking further on the reactions that the ban might generate, Dr. Fadolapo questioned, “What is the level of Nigerian models that are used outside the country? How many Nigerians have gone to Kenya as a model and have thrived? How many Nigerian have gone to South Africa as models and even Ghana here? The modelling industry in Nigeria as of now is next to the ground, the voice-over artists is next to them. These are industries in Nigeria that empower and employ the youth. What we are planning to do in line with the government directive is to grow the sector; it will definitely have consequences but let us take away the profession, and the practice and look at it from the eye of the economy, and the general public. If this is a sacrifice that we have to make in the immediate to grow our economy then it is worth it.”

Meanwhile, the Association of Voice-Over Artistes (AVOA), has described the ban as a welcome development.

Reacting to the ban in a statement signed by its President, Mr. Segun Arinze, the association lauded ARCON over what it described as an intervention that was direly needed.

“We say this is a welcome development. It’s an enabling regulation that favours the local industry, especially at a time Nigeria is in dire need of sufficient platforms for its teeming youth population.

“This is a clear demonstration of responsiveness on the part of ARCON. It is now left to us in the various Guilds and Associations to put our acts together and ensure that Nigeria is not only capable of filling all gaps but has the capacity to project these talents to the world.

“For us at the Association of Voice Over Artistes (AVOA) Nigeria, it is a new dawn, and we are already at work on how to position our members to fill those gaps,” the statement read.

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