Adverting Regulatory Council Sues Meta over Adverts, Demands N30bn in Damages

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ARC. Dipo Ajayi
President, ARCON

The Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) has filed a suit at the Federal High Court in Abuja against Meta Platforms Incorporated, owners of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, and its agent AT3 Resources Limited,  over the continued publication and exposure of advertisements directed at the Nigerian market through its platforms without the Council’s vetting and approval, which it claims has led to the loss of revenue to the Federal Government.

The Nigeria’s apex advertising governing agency revealed on October 4, 2022 that the advertisements on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp in the Nigerian markets are not vetted and approved by the federal government.

ARCON asserted that such continued unscrutinised adverts and other publications emanating from Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta-owned social media platforms are illegal, unlawful and a violation of the extant advertising law in Nigeria. ARCON asked for N30 billion for punitive damages.

The Council revealed this in a statement titled “ARCON sues Meta platforms incorporated, seeks N30b in sanction and penalties.”

ARCON is seeking, among other things, a declaration 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.

The Council claimed that Meta Platforms Incorporated’s continued exposure of unvetted adverts has also led to a loss of revenue to the Federal Government. It asked for N30b in sanction 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.

ARCON reiterate that it would not permit unethical and irresponsible advertising on Nigeria’s advertising space.

It argued that it is not regulating the online media space but rather advertisement, advertising and marketing communications on online platforms in line with its establishment Act.