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FG proposes heavy fines for Nigerian brands running adverts in foreign media

Local brands running adverts during the English Premier League live matches will soon be paying a fine of N100,000 each time such adverts are run.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, during a Good Morning Nigeria programme aired on Monday by the federal government-owned Nigerian Television Authority (NTA).

He said the government will no longer accept the situation where brands selling their products to consumers in Nigeria will produce their adverts outside the country to run on international broadcast stations like CNN.

According to him, “If you do an advert in South Africa, you put it on CNN and we look at that advert and we see that the advert was not made in Nigeria but actually made in South Africa, or you see that five times a day, it is on CNN, you pay half a million to us. The half a million will go to the Content Development Fund.”

“What is common today is to see products made in Nigeria but the adverts for those products are actually probably done in South Africa or in the US.

“So, we amended the code to say that if a product you want to advertise in Nigeria territory is made in Nigeria, grown in Nigeria or processed in Nigeria, then you must make sure that the advert is also produced in Nigeria.

“Gulder is made, processed in Nigeria. If you go to South Africa to produce an advert which you are going to air to Nigerians because Nigerians consume Gulder, what we have amended the code to say is that for every time that advert is aired in Nigeria either on radio or television, you pay a fine of N100,000.

“We are not stopping you from making your production in America or South Africa but if you are going to advertise in Nigerian territory, you will pay a fine of N100,000,” Mr Mohammed explained.

“In other words, if Gulder makes an advert in South Africa and it is shown on NTA, if it shows it 10 times a day, it will pay N100,000 fine 10 times,” he emphasised.

The Minister further explained that if efforts are not made to develop local production, the Nigerian economy will suffer.

“Let’s assume you have brought in La Liga, and during the matches, Guinness is advertised, we will compel you, we will compel Guinness to also advertise when we are playing a local league.

“That is the only way we can grow this industry but as can be expected, we have had very few supporters,” he stressed.

Mr Mohammed also stated that if any Nigerian company invests in a foreign league, the firm must invest at least 30 per cent of that money in Nigerian football.

“If a company should invest $1 million in bringing the EPL to Nigeria, that company must also be ready to spend 30 per cent of that $1 million in producing a local content along the same line.

“In other words, if Maltina or Guinness decides to bring in EPL, which is English football, we have no problem with that. But they must also invest in covering our local league to the tune of 30 per cent of what he has paid,” he stated.

He further said the controversial Broadcasting Code was also making efforts to address anti-competition in the broadcast sector because it is stiffening the growth of local contents.

“The NBC has issued about 30 pay-TV licences but only one is managing to survive. Why? Because of these anti-competitive and manipulative tendencies of these foreign companies,” Mr Mohammed said, adding that the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) has been asked to implement a regulation mandating exclusive licensees and broadcasters to share exclusive rights with other broadcasters.

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