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Abuja Calls for Local Talent in Advertising

Nigeria has moved to ban foreign models and voiceover artists from advertisements in the country. The Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria announced the plan in an August 23 statement, saying the move was in line with the government’s policy of “developing local talent”. It said it was also motivated by “the need to take necessary steps and actions aimed at growing the Nigerian advertising industry”. A 2017 to 2021 analysis by PricewaterhouseCooper projected that Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, will be the world’s fastest-growing revenue generator in the entertainment and media industry in the next five years. The ban will pertain to “any advertisement targeted or exposed on the Nigerian advertising space”, referring to an industry estimated to be valued at about $450m in 2021. It added that while “ongoing campaigns” will be able to continue to run to the end of their current term “subsequent applications for re-validation for continued exposure of such material will not granted”. The ban is set to go into effect on October 1, with observers saying it is sure to represent a noticeable shift in a country where non-Nigerians have long been common on the air and radio waves.