Nigeria’s advertising regulator, the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON), has mandated skit makers, social media influencers, and bloggers, among others to seek its approval before advertising any product or service online.
In a public notice issued on Monday, ARCON said this is in line with the provisions of the Nigerian Code of Advertising Practice and the ARCON Act No. 23 of 2022.
The regulator added that anyone caught violating the Act would be sanctioned and prosecuted in a court of law.
The grouse: ARCON added that enforcing compliance with the Act became imperative following complaints it received regarding unregulated advertisements, advertising, and marketing communications activities of skit makers, comedians, influencers, content creators/producers, bloggers, vloggers, etc on digital/online media platforms.
Explaining the issues with adverts being publicized by the digital influencers, ARCON in the notice signed by its Director-General, Olalekan Fadolapo, said:
- “Most of the advertisements exposed by this group are not only unethical with unverified claims and misinformation, but also in violation of the Nigerian Code of Advertising Practice.
- “By this public notice, brand owners, digital agencies, secondary digital media space owners (i.e. bloggers, vloggers, influencers, comedians, skit makers, etc), and other advertising stakeholders in the digital online media space are advised to obtain pre-exposure approval of all advertisements, advertising, and marketing communications in accordance with the Nigerian Code of Advertising Practice and the ARCON Act No. 23 of 2022.
- “ARCON will take all necessary actions including sanctions and prosecution of violators of the provisions of the Act to ensure compliance.”
In case you missed it: Earlier in October, ARCON had instituted a lawsuit against Meta incorporated, owners of Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp, and its agent AT3 Resources Limited at the Abuja division of the Federal High Court, alleging that the social media platform has continued exposure of unvetted adverts had led to the loss of revenue to the federal government.
- In the lawsuit, the apex regulatory body for Nigeria’s advertising ecosystem is seeking N30 billion in sanctions for the “violation of the advertising laws and loss of revenue as a result of Meta’s continued exposure of unapproved adverts on its platforms.”