ARCON Sues Facebook N30 Billion For Violating Nigeria’s Advertising Laws

ARCON Sues Facebook N30 Billion For Violating Nigeria’s Advertising Laws

  • The Nigerian Government is seeking legal action against Meta, owners of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp
  • The Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) sued the social media platform for N30 billion for alleged infractions
  • The agency said the company failed to comply with Nigeria’s advertising laws, but Meta denied the allegations

The Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) has filed N30 billion suit against Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, for alleged advert violations in Nigeria.

The agency revealed that the social media company had violated Nigeria’s advertising regulations.

ARCON, Meta, Facebook
Meta CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. Nigeria moves to sue Mera Credit: Nathan Howard / Stringer
Source: Getty Images

ARCON says Facebook's ads expose Nigerians to indecent materials

ARCON said that Meta’s inability to verify and vet adverts on its platforms before publication has led to inappropriate and misleading advertising.

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The agency also said the development has harmed consumers in Nigeria and destroyed the country’s advertising industry.

It also said that ARCON is seeking damages for the loss of revenue to the Nigerian Government.

Meta, however, refuted the allegations. The company said it fully complies with all applicable advertising laws of Nigeria.

The advertising regulatory body said it will employ all legal means to ensure that the Mark Zuckerberg-owned social media firm complies with Nigeria’s laws.

The case is selected to be heard in the Federal High Court this October, a BusinessDay report says.

Analysts have said the suit by ARCON is a critical development in Nigeria’s quest to regulate social media platforms.

ARCON's case against Facebook is crucial, analysts say

The agency is the first Nigerian agency to take legal action against a vital social media company for violations.

According to experts, the suit's outcome could significantly impact the regulation of social media in Nigeria.

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They say if ARCON is successful, the development could mark the beginning of social media regulation in Nigeria as other government agencies would latch on to the precedence.

The suit will also shine a spotlight on the issue of unvetted ads on social media platforms in Nigeria.

Nigeria issues strong regulation for social media ads

In May this year, the Nigerian Government inaugurated the Advertising Offences Tribunal to deal with infractions of the provisions of the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) Act.

Nigeria’s former Information and Culture Minister, Lai Mohammed, inaugurated the Tribunal at an event in Abuja on Thursday, April 18, 223.

Mohammed said that ARCON is vested with the mandate to regulate and control advertising in Nigeria in all ramifications, stating that the Government is setting up the Tribunal to aid the Council in carrying out its responsibilities.

FG sanctions Advertising Standard Panel Over ‘All Eyes on the Judiciary’ Billboards’, Nigerians react

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Food security: Reps, UNESCO, POWA synergise to empower 100,000 young women in agriculture reported that the ARCON sanctioned the Advertising Standard Panel (ASP) for approving an advert on several billboards nationwide with the text ‘All Eyes on The Judiciary.’

This development was confirmed via a statement released on ARCON's official social media handle on Tuesday, July 15.

As contained in the statement signed by the director-general of ARCON, Olalekan Fadolapo, the Advertising Standard Panel (ASP) was dissolved immediately, and an investigation would commence on the controversial billboard advert


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