Less than two months after the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) filed a suit against Meta Platforms Incorporated, which owns Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, accusing the company of rendering unapproved advert materials in the country, and demanded up to N30 billion as damages, the regulatory body has said most commercials put out by skit makers, influencers and others are unethical and full of unproven promises.
The regulator said this in a statement said, “Most of the advertisements exposed by this group are not only unethical with unverified claims and misinformation, but also in violation of the Nigerian Code of Advertising Practice.”
To this end, ARCON has advised brand owners, digital agencies, and other stakeholders in the digital marketing/advertising space to obtain pre-exposure approval for all advertisements, advertising, and marketing communication before signing on the influencers.
The regulatory body has also threatened to take all necessary actions, including sanction and prosecution, to ensure that the act’s provisions are followed.
In October, ARCON sought a declaration that Meta’s continued publication and exposure of various advertisements targeted at the Nigerian market on Facebook and Instagram without first ensuring that they are vetted and approved is illegal, unlawful, and a violation of the country’s current advertising laws.
The agency argued that Meta’s ongoing broadcast of unscreened advertisements has cost the federal government money.
For the alleged infringement of the advertising regulations and for lost revenue as a result of Meta Incorporated’s continuous exposure of prohibited advertisements on its platforms, ARCON is asking for N30 billion in fines.
“ARCON reiterates that it will not permit unethical and irresponsible advertising in the Nigerian advertising space,” the statement said.