By Ibrahim Garba Shuaibu
KANO, Nigeria (AA) - The Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) announced Tuesday that it has filed a lawsuit against Meta Platforms Inc., the parent company of Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, and its agent AT3 Resources Limited seeking 30 billion naira ($69 million) in punitive damages for violating the advertising law and loss of revenue to the government.
ARCON filed the suit against the social media giant at the Federal High Court, Abuja Judicial Division over the publication by Meta of advertisements on the three social media platforms directed at the Nigerian market without them being vetted and approved by the government.
In the suit, ARCON is seeking a declaration that such actions are illegal, unlawful, and a violation of the advertising law in Nigeria.
The council’s statement said "it is not regulating the online media space but rather advertising and marketing communications on the online platforms in line with its establishment Act."
ARCON said Meta’s continued publication of unvetted adverts had also led to losses of revenue to the federal government.
“ARCON reiterates that it would not permit unethical and irresponsible advertising on Nigeria’s advertising space,” it added.