The penchant for lavish publicity by Nigerians in foreign media has met a stonewall in CNN which has been rejecting political advertisement, according to reports
With the 2015 elections drawing close, several politicians are shocked that the American international cable channel, which is one of the favourites in Nigeria, has been turning down commercials with overt political messages.
CNN adverts are among the most expensive in the world, the network charges up to N5 million for a 30-second spot at prime time ─ but many Nigerian companies and politicians typically value the prestige above the economic cost.
This has also created a bandwagon effect, with many falling over each other to get on the international media. It is estimated that Nigerian companies and various state governments spend billions of naira every year advertising in foreign media, notably The Economist, Financial Times of London, CNN International and Super Sports.
“We approached CNN agents in Nigeria to place some adverts for our principal. We sent the creatives to them as requested and they returned them, saying they do not run commercials that are intended to campaign for votes. We could not believe it,” a consultant to a presidential aspirant said.
Another, who is working for a state governor seeking re-election, said he had a similar experience. But an official of CNN said that it was a general rule not to accept certain advertisements and there was no discrimination against Nigerian politicians.
Ashley Hogan-Gancarz, Account Manager of CNN International, added that: “CNN International never accepts political or religious advertising. This is due to Ofcom regulations. Ofcom is the regulator of the broadcast industry in the United Kingdom, UK, from where CNN International oversees its African operations.
CNN’s rejection of 2015-related adverts is expected to benefit local media in Nigeria. Part of the advertising budget is now expected to be spent locally.