New ad restrictions in Holland and Nigeria make history

The Dutch city of Haarlem is the first in the world to ban ads for intensively farmed meat. From 2024, ads for these products will not be permitted in public places like buses, screens and billboards, because of the impact on climate change.

Brands often get round such restrictions by focusing on other, healthier products, but Haarlem city councillor Ziggy Klazes said that as far as she is concerned, this includes ads from fast food chains.

Holland has pioneered ad restrictions for climate reasons, with Amsterdam and The Hague already banning ads for air travel, petrol-driven cars and fossil fuels.

In Nigeria, meanwhile, a different type of advertising ban comes into force on 1st October, Nigerian Independence Day, when the use of foreign models and voiceover artists will be forbidden.

This rule will apply to any advertisement targeted or exposed on the Nigerian advertising space, whether from a national or international brand. Failure to comply will mean a fine of $240 for every foreign model used.

The Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria has instigated the ban in an effort to promote investment in Nigeria’s advertising industry, which was worth around $450m in 2021.

The country is home to 200 million people and, despite being Africa’s largest economy, has always played second fiddle to South Africa in terms of its advertising industry. Many of the ads seen in Nigeria are filmed in South Africa or imported from other countries.

Olaken Fadolapo, director general of the ARCN, said: “We want to make ourselves more relevant. We want to look at the talent we have and see how we can develop it to be able to compete on a global platform.”

It is hoped that the ban will also mean that Nigerians are better represented in the ads they see, with Unilever (above) praised as one multinational that respects and reflects the country’s culture.

In the UK, there have recently been calls for more restrictions on gambling ads – and the industry recently swerved further limits on HFSS advertising – but there is little danger of either of these happening, at least while Liz Truss is still prime minister.

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