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Experts Air Views On The Ban Of Foreign Models In Nigeria

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Dr Olalekan Fadolapo, DG, ARCON

After the announcement of the ban on foreign models in Nigeria, many analysts shared their views on different platforms. Many feel it would be “a bit” difficult to enforce. Others think it is “not entirely the only way to go”. while many others wonder if the law will trickle down with compensating benefits for models in Nigeria, considering the strong claws/hold modelling agencies have on their talents. Others still feel the initiative might likely drive away foreign investors who still prefer to produce ads with people of their own colour. In this first part of the industry “Vox-pop”, we present some follow-up comments and views from top players on the issue.

“No One Is Exempted”

Dr Lekan Fadolapo, DG, ARCON

The Director General of the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria, ARCON, Dr. Olelakan Fadolapo recently revealed 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.

“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”.

   “A clear demonstration of responsiveness on the part of ARCON”

Segun Arinze, President, The Association of Voice-Over Artistes (AVOA)

“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 our duty 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.”

Obi Emekekwue, The Former Director & Global Head of Communications of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank)

 “The timing of the policy is wrong”

Obi Emekekwue, The Former Director & Global Head of Communications of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank)

“Since Nigeria continues to dominate in the communications and entertainment sectors, such a ban on Non- Nigerian models and voiceover artiste will impact Nigeria negatively. The timing of the policy is wrong. Considering that the Federal Government and other African nations are signatories and implementing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which offers a free trade area for African trades, including unrestricted labour.”

Steve Babaeko, AAAN President

 “The Law Is Just Catching Up With National Sentiment”

Steve Babaeko, President of Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria & CEO of X3M ideas

“Nigerian brands would use foreigners, while multinationals such as Coca-Cola and LG would simply distribute their global campaigns, full of white models, in Nigeria. I think the law is just catching up with national sentiment. As long as maybe eight years ago you would notice some kind of renaissance in Nigeria. A new sense of pride emerging people will tell you, ‘There are about 200 million of us. Are you telling me you could not find indigenous models for your commercial from this huge population?” (In a chat with London Times).

Bolanle Olukanni, TV presenter

“Agencies will be compelled to shoot ads locally”

Bolanle Olukanni, TV presenter

“The ban would encourage Nigerian companies to make adverts locally really is about Africa.

 “It’s not about them saying people are not African. If you’re advertising specific brands in the market, you cannot use someone who can pass as a Nigerian. Indeed, the ban would force Nigerian agencies to shoot adverts locally as No one will likely fly 10-20 models to South Africa.”

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