Nigeria announces ban on foreign talent being used in ad campaigns

By our News Team | 2022

Change to come into effect from 1 October will change the creative flavour of many of the country’s advertisements.

Nigeria has announced that it is banning the use of foreign actors and voiceover artists in local advertisements. 

The ban comes into effect from 1 October and will impact all new advertising and marketing campaigns from that date. Campaigns that are currently running will, however, not be affected.

Using non-Nigerian talent in advertisements is common in the country, so the move will have a notable impact on the way that marketers and their agencies implement their campaigns in the future.


Music icon Don Jazzy – who is a local talent – featuring in a Nigerian alcohol commercial. Photo credit: Diageo

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”.

Any advert ‘exposed on Nigerian advertising space’

According to the council, the new restrictions refer to to “any advertisement targeted or exposed on the Nigerian advertising space”.

In an interview with the London-based The Times newspaper, the President of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria, Steve Babaeko, noted that “10 to 20 years ago if you checked the commercials, I would say they were almost 50-50 in terms of foreign faces and all the voiceovers were British accents”.

He added: “I think the law is just catching up with national sentiment. As long as maybe eight years ago, you would notice some kind of renaissance in Nigeria.

“People will tell you, ‘There are about 200-million of us. Are you telling me you could not find indigenous models for this commercial?’”

Prior to the ban, Nigeria had already imposed a tariff of about US$240 for every foreign model used in an advertising spot.

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    Dr Kin Kariisa

    Group CEO - Next Media

    Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
    With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
    Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

    Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

    Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

    • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
    • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
    • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
    • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.