White models and people with British accents will soon be barred from being featured on ads in Nigeria, The Times reports.
The advertising regulator in Nigeria has recently moved to impose a ban that will only allow Nigerian models and voiceovers to be in the country’s advertisements.
“All advertisements, advertising, and marketing communications materials are to make use of only Nigerian model[s] and voice-over artist[s],” the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) said in a statement on August 22.
The move makes Nigeria the first country in the world to ban white models in advertising.
According to the Nigerian government, the ban will help foster homegrown talent and boost inclusive economic growth.
The ban represents a monumental shift in Nigeria, where about half of the talent featured in commercials were British as recently as a couple of decades ago, said Steve Babaeko, the president of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria.
Thus far, brands including a non-Nigerian in their advertising have been charged 100,000 Naira or $237 US Dollars. When the measure kicks off on October 1, the deterrence will become permanent.
Nigerian officials said existing commercials can still run until the end of their campaigns, which is the only exception to the new rule.