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ARCON bans overseas production of Nigerian ads to boost employment, economy

Advertising Regulatory Council Takes Bold Steps to Curb Capital Flight, Prioritize Local Talent, and Revitalize the Nigerian Advertising Ecosystem

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In a move aimed at reshaping the landscape of Nigeria’s advertising industry, the Advertising Regulatory Council (ARCON) has issued a directive banning the production of indigenous advertisements in foreign countries. The announcement, made through a press statement signed by ARCON Director-General Olalekan Fadolapo, emphasizes the potential to reduce unemployment and stimulate the national economy.

The directive asserts that advertisements targeting the Nigerian market should be produced within Nigeria, aiming to curb capital flight and nurture the growth of the domestic advertising industry. The statement advocates for job creation for Nigerian youth, fostering the development of the support service sector, and circulating funds within the country’s advertising ecosystem.

ARCON’s commitment to the directive is underscored by its ban on the use of foreigners as voiceovers or models in advertisements targeting the Nigerian market. The agency encourages advertisers to prioritize Nigerians in their communication elements, emphasizing the need to reflect the diversity and talent within the nation.

Expressing concern about the violation of the industry’s credit policy, ARCON addresses the exploitative practices of some agencies that have led to industry debt and the exploitation of media owners. The statement criticizes the Advertising Association of Nigeria members for offering a 120-day payment cycle to Nigerian businesses while prepaying foreign media houses for services, creating an imbalance in the industry’s financial dynamics.

Director-General Olalekan Fadolapo, in response to inquiries, emphasized the irreversible nature of the advertising industry reform, particularly after his reappointment as ARCON’s DG. Fadolapo outlined the economic implications of outsourcing advertising production, where significant amounts of money are spent abroad while only the finished ads are brought back for dissemination in Nigeria.

Fadolapo argued that bringing advertising production back to Nigeria would contribute to the nation’s economic strength by employing local talent, including sound engineers, production managers, and other personnel essential for ad creation. The move is positioned not only as a strategy to tackle unemployment but also as an opportunity to keep profits within the country.

Addressing concerns about voiceovers and models, Fadolapo questioned the rationale behind advertisers claiming an inability to find suitable talent within Nigeria’s vast population. He highlighted the country’s enormous economic potential and criticized advertisers for taking advantage of Nigeria’s market without adequately contributing to its growth.

Acknowledging the Minister of Information and National Orientation’s approval of the full implementation of the Advertising Industry Reform, Fadolapo emphasized the importance of standing firm against campaigns aimed at discrediting the reforms. He reiterated his commitment to doing what is right for the industry’s reform and ensuring that the advertising sector in Nigeria thrives sustainably. The reforms, as envisaged by ARCON, aim not only to reshape advertising practices but also to foster economic empowerment and growth within the nation.

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