The Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria says it has lodged a suit against Meta Platforms Incorporated (owners of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp platforms) and its agent AT3 Resources Limited at the Federal High Court, Abuja Judicial Division.
According to a statement by the regulatory body for Nigeria’s advertising ecosystem, ARCON is seeking a declaration, among others, that the continued publication and exposure of various advertisements directed at the Nigerian market through Facebook and Instagram platforms by Meta Platforms Incorporated without ensuring same is vetted and approved before exposure is illegal, unlawful and a violation of the extant advertising law in Nigeria.
ARCON stated that Meta Platforms Incorporated’s continued exposure of unvetted adverts had also led to loss of revenue to the Federal Government.
ARCON is seeking N30bn in sanctions for the violation of the advertising laws and for loss of revenue as a result of Meta Incorporated’s continued exposure of unapproved adverts on its platforms.
The statement read in part, “ARCON reiterates that it would not permit unethical and irresponsible advertising on Nigeria’s advertising space.”
In an exclusive chat with our correspondent, ARCON Director-General, Olalekan Fadolapo, said the decision to initiate a legal action became necessary after several attempts to bring the company to the negotiation table proved abortive.
He said, “ARCON wrote to some online platform owners, requesting for a meeting to agree on the regulatory framework and protocol for advertising on online platforms.
“Meta neither acknowledged nor attended the meeting. After a follow-up call, we got a promise that they will revert formally which never came.”