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Nigerian advertising regulator sues Meta/Facebook for ₦30 billion over loss of revenue and violation of laws

The Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) has sued Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, alongside its Nigerian public relations agency AT3 Resources at the Federal High court, Abuja Judicial Division.

ARCON is seeking ₦30 billion (~$50 million) in sanction for the violation of the advertising laws and for loss of revenue as a result of Meta’s continued exposure of unapproved adverts on its platforms.

ARCON in a statement seen by Punch shared that Meta’s continued exposure of unvetted adverts had also led to a loss of revenue to the Federal Government. “ARCON reiterates that it would not permit unethical and irresponsible advertising on Nigeria’s advertising space,” the statement from the apex advertising regulatory body read.

ARCON also shared that it’s not regulating the online media space but advertising and marketing communications on the online platforms in line with its establishment Act.

This move come after a new bill ARCON was passed by the National Assembly and approved by the Nigerian president in August. The new bill repealed the Advertising Practitioners (Registration, etc.) Act, Cap. A7, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and enacting the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) Act, 2022, which recognises ARCON as the apex authority for the Nigerian advertising industry.

Earlier that month, ARCON announced a ban on the use of foreign voice-over artists and models with effect from October 1.

“…in the area of ICT, we stand to conserve a lot of foreign exchange if the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, decides to toe the ARCON line by enforcing local content in the consumption of ICT products,” a part of the ban statement read.

TechCabal has reached out to Meta for comment and is awaiting response at the time this article was published.

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