Nation becomes first to ban white models — RT World News
Nigeria says need to ‘develop local talent’ and support ‘inclusive economic growth’ justifies move
Going forward, Nigerian adverts will have to rely solely on local models and voiceovers, the African nation’s government announced this week. The policy changes will take effect on October 1.
« All commercials, advertisements and marketing communication materials must use only Nigerian models and voice over artists », the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) said in a statement Tuesday. Current ad campaigns using foreign talent will be allowed to continue, but no new permits for similar campaigns will be issued by relevant authorities, the government agency added.
This decision is in line with government policy to « developing local talent, including economic growth » and supporting the local advertising industry, the statement said. Nigeria previously relied heavily on foreign models and voiceover specialists in its advertisements, including white models and voiceovers with British accents, according to The Times.
The government has been fighting these trends for some time. IT previously required companies attracting foreign talent to pay a fee of 100,000 naira (about $240) for any foreign model used in an advertisement, the British newspaper reported.
“10 to 20 years ago if you looked at the adverts I would say they were almost 50/50 in terms of foreign faces and all the voiceovers were British accents,” Steve Babaeko, the head of the Nigerian Advertising Association, told The Times. Multinationals like Coca-Cola or LG relied on their global advertising campaigns in Nigeria, which also featured white models.
According to Babaeko, the new regulation is fair « catch up » with national sentiment. “People will tell you, ‘We are about 200 million. Are you telling me you couldn’t find any native models for this commercial? » he said.
ARCON leader Olalekan Fadolapo also defended the settlement saying that « Advertising needs to resonate with people. »
« How do you think it will resonate if we continue to use foreign artists? » he asked, adding that other African countries have imposed a de facto ban on foreign models in advertisements, but are not turning those bans into official regulations.
Others, like Nigerian TV presenter, Bolanle Olukanni, said it is also about competition between African nations since many commercials broadcast in Africa are shot in Kenya and the Republic of South Africa. Nigerian agencies should now shoot their adverts locally, she said, adding that « No one will fly 10 to 15 models in South Africa. »
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