The Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) has released vetting rates for social media advertisements in Nigeria and has begun enforcing them. This means that Nigerians who wish to advertise on social media platforms will now have to bear the additional cost, which can range from N7,500 to N100,000. The standard vetting fee for a social media ad is N7,500, and the process takes 7 days. An expedited option costs N70,000 and takes 2 days, while a one-day turnaround time costs N100,000, as per the advertising regulator.
ARCON will also vet the content of all social media ads in Nigeria, including those by social media influencers and bloggers, who were earlier required to seek approval from the council before advertising any product or service online. ARCON had previously issued a public notice in December 2022 mandating skit makers, social media influencers, bloggers, and others to seek its approval before advertising any product or service online, in line with the provisions of the Nigerian Code of Advertising Practice and the ARCON Act No. 23 of 2022.
In a notice signed by its Director-General, Olalekan Fadolapo, ARCON highlighted the problems associated with digital influencers promoting ads and says by this public notice, brand owners, digital agencies, secondary digital media space owners (i.e. bloggers, vloggers, influencers, comedians, skit makers, etc), and other advertising stakeholders in the digital online media space are advised to obtain pre-exposure approval of all advertisements, advertising, and marketing communications in accordance with the Nigerian Code of Advertising Practice and the ARCON Act No. 23 of 2022.
He says 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 and that ARCON will take all necessary actions including sanctions and prosecution of violators of the provisions of the Act to ensure compliance. The council informed all regional directors, zonal directors, and liaison heads in a memo that the new social media vetting rates came into effect on May 9, 2023.