The Advertisers Association of Nigeria, (ADVAN), has disagreed with the ban of foreign models in Nigerian advertising and the manner in which the apex advertising regulatory body had handled Hayat Kimya and Mainsail Media Limited alleged indebtedness.
In a statement signed by the Executive Council Advertisers Association of Nigeria, the advertisers sectoral group said that “It is ADVAN‘s standpoint that the recent ban on foreign models was not well thought out. It is a poorly researched and ineffective attempt at seeking a solution for sustainable growth in the advertising industry.”
“Nigeria, as a country in the global economy, has an expatriate policy which allows for non-Nigerians to be gainfully and legally employed by Nigerian organisations, in adherence to the stipulations of the law, adding that “Any such ban contravenes the aforementioned policy, and presents Nigeria – a country that has a significant percentage of its population seeking income opportunities outside Nigeria, as a strict, insular, and nonreciprocal society.
It is a widely known fact that Nigerian models, creatives, and voice-over artists are also beneficiaries of the friendly cross-border work/trade interactions that currently exist. This ban puts a distinct demography of Nigerians of employable age – especially youths who make up the large number of those in this space, at a significant disadvantage with their global counterparts.”
Furthermore, ADVAN, therefore, believes that such a ban is not only harmful to Nigeria and Nigerians, but is also discriminatory, exclusionary, and does little to advance Nigeria’s commitment for instance, to the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement AfCFTA, which Nigeria and Nigerian businesses stand to benefit from. Neither does it protect (as it claims), the interests of Nigeria’s burgeoning youthful population- many of whom are in this field.”
Additionally, the use of foreign models by advertisers, does not represent a significant percentage in the Nigeria advertising scene. This is evident in the monumental growth in the Nigerian music, creative, and movie industries, where it has been made apparent that Nigerian talents are very respected and sought after – home and abroad. Nigerian brands have also wholeheartedly embraced home grown talent in their brand building activities and have done so without any unnecessary government fiat, therefore, such a ban is totally unwarranted and self-serving in nature.
Meanwhile, on the press release ARCON issued recently on Hayat Kimya Limited, ADVAN said that it reads with deep regret, the statement put out by ARCON, a government agency, seeking to meddle in an unwholesome manner, in a contractual dispute bordering on alleged fraud that is currently the subject of investigations by the appropriate law enforcement agency(ies).
“ADVAN states unequivocally that ARCON’s statement reeks of an underhand attempt to subvert the ongoing process in what has been alleged a criminal issue. This is against the rule of law as espoused by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
ADVAN, therefore, wants to use this medium to reiterate that Hayat Kimya Ltd, a member of ADVAN, is a responsible and law-abiding organization in Nigeria,” the statement stated.