New ARCON law may provoke retaliatory measures

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Dentsu Nigeria’s Group Chief Executive Officer, Emeka Okeke, has described the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria’s recent policy banning foreign models in Nigerian advertising creative materials production as a “double-edged sword”.

He made the observation at the Marketing Edge’s 2022 Summit and Awards, according to a press statement by dentsu Nigeria Corporate Communications Manager, Sodiq Oyeleke, on Wednesday.

Okeke, who was the Guest Speaker at the Summit, while commending ARCON’s policy for encouraging local talents, expressed reservations about Nigerian global ambassadors operating in other countries.

The PUNCH had on August 22, 2022, reported that ARCON, formerly Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria, banned the use of foreign models and voice-over artists on Nigerian advertising media with effect from October 2022.

“All advertisements, advertising, and marketing communications materials are to make use of only Nigerian models and voice-over artists.

“Ongoing campaigns are permitted to run out their terms. However, subsequent applications for revalidation for continued exposure of such materials will not be granted by the Advertising Standards Panel.

“Advertisers, advertisement agencies, media houses, advertising community and the general public are hereby enjoined to take note,” ARCON Director General, Dr Olalekan Fadolapo, had said in a statement.

But speaking on the ban, Dentsu Nigeria CEO stressed that “the policy can be a double-edged sword; capable of provoking retaliatory measures against Nigerian artistes and models in other jurisdictions, if not carefully managed”.

Okeke added, “I like to say briefly that we must be cautious with the implementation of the policy banning the use of foreign artists and models in the Nigerian advertising creative industry. I am a part of ARCON and I am in support of the policies of the regulatory body, however, we must carefully examine this new policy to ensure it is not so counter-productive as to diminish its envisaged benefits.”

He also advised marketing communications experts and talents to be innovative in their approach.

On the high rate at which talents are leaving Nigeria, Okeke said, “The current trend of our talents leaving Nigeria for other countries calls for concern. Though technology is good, we must find a way to retain our best talents. Nigeria is better for those of us running abroad if the operating environment is safe and made conducive for business and talents to thrive.

“In addition, agencies must be ready to invest in data and human capacity development. We can’t wait for clients to do that on our behalf because we need the data for efficient delivery and track results. MediaFuse-Dentsu’s Consumer Connection System, for instance, has continued to make us stand out in the industry.”

Meanwhile, MediaFuse-Dentsu International has been named the leader in media advertising in 2022.

The marketing communications company won the Leadership Award in Media Advertising at the the event.

The award, which reaffirmed the firm’s leadership position in the marketing communications industry, came a few weeks after dentsu Nigeria was named Africa’s Most Innovative Marketing Communications Company.

Reacting to the award, Okeke noted that the company’s total solutions policies and principles have continued to yield a positive impact on brands and services in its care.

He noted that though awards are commendable, the company measures its performance by clients’ satisfaction and results.

He said, “This is commendable. It is a reaffirmation of our leadership role in the industry and a message that more is expected from us. We will keep being innovative, creative and result-oriented in our approach.

“For us, investing in human capital development, insights and consistent critical and solution-oriented thinking are business continuity imperatives. We think beyond the present and set the agenda for the future of our business. We do not only pioneer ideas, we ensure satisfactory implementation.”



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