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.