Nigeria’s advertising regulator, the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) is suing Facebook’s parent company Meta and the owner of sibling platforms Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp for unethical and irresponsible advertising. The regulatory body is also suing the company’s agent AT3 Resources Limited, at the Abuja division of the Federal High Court.
ARCON made the suit public in a statement it released on Tuesday noting that it will not permit unethical and irresponsible advertising in Nigeria. The regulator is seeking a fine of 30 billion naira from Meta for violating the country’s advertising law and revenue loss induced by the company’s continued exposure of unapproved adverts on its platforms.
“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 the same is vetted and approved before exposure is illegal, unlawful, and a violation of the extant advertising Law in Nigeria,” ARCON said in its statement.
This follows a quite recent suit the company received in Kenya. The company, alongside its main subcontractor for content moderation in Africa Sama, has been sued over claims of exploitation and union-busting, and unfair and unsafe working conditions for employees. Daniel Moutang, a former content moderator who was allegedly laid off after organizing a strike and trying to unionize employees in 2019 filed the suit. According to him, Facebook’s parent and Sama “subjected current and former content moderators to forced labor and human trafficking for labor.” He has since been tagged a Facebook whistleblower.
The legal battle between the company and Nigeria’s advertising regulatory body is the latest the company is receiving in Africa. We will be bringing you more details about the battle between Facebook’s parent company Meta and Nigeria’s ARCON as it unfolds.