FG drags Meta to court over ‘unvetted adverts,’ seeks N30bn in sanction
Nigerian government, through the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) has dragged the United States-based, social media group, Meta (formerly Facebook) to the Federal High Court, Abuja, as it seeks claims amounting to N30 billion over ‘unvetted adverts’ published on the group’s various micro-blogging sites like Instagram, Facebook and Whatsapp.
ARCON is the apex regulatory body in the country’s advertising industry.
ARCON disclosed in a statement, Tuesday, that 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.
ARCON further added that it is seeking a declaration from the Federal High Court, 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 the same is vetted and approved before exposure is illegal, unlawful and a violation of the extant advertising Law in Nigeria.
According to ARCON, in its application before the court, Meta Platforms Incorporated’s ‘continued exposure of unvetted adverts’ had also led to loss of revenue to the Federal Government, as the council further sought N30bn as sanction for the violation of the advertising laws and for loss of revenue as a result of Meta’s continued exposure of unapproved adverts on its platforms.
“ARCON reiterates that it would not permit unethical and irresponsible advertising on the Nigeria’s advertising space.
“The Council is not regulating the online media space. Rather, its focus is on advertising and marketing communications on the online platforms in line with its establishment Act,” ARCON said.