Nigeria: Brand Endorsement Allegedly Bars Nigerian Artistes From Working With Ambassadors of Rival Companies

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When the wind of endorsement deal, especially by telecom companies, blew across the Nigerian entertainment industry in 2013, no one predicted the restriction on a working relationship between ambassadors of rival companies.

Although, this restriction was noticed only within the music industry, a rumour soon erupted of how Kunle Afolayan’s endorsement deal with Glo was terminated because the actor/director featured Afeez ‘Saka’ Oyetoro (one time brand ambassador for Etisalat but now with MTN) in one of his movies.

Glo Vs MTN

The alleged restriction on brand ambassadors was first noticed when Burna Boy, a Globacom ambassador, was dropped from Ghana Meets Naija concert due to MTN sponsoring the show.

Another apparent sign of such restriction was when singer Omawumi, who had recorded and released a song, Warm Yourself, with Wizkid failed to feature the latter in her video allegedly because of Wizkid’s deal with MTN. Omawumi is a brand ambassador of Glo.

The Nigerian blogosphere went agog recently with reports suggesting that D’banj, who recently signed an endorsement deal with Glo, might lose his deal after he appeared in Kcee’s Emmah video. The song was recorded before D’banj signed the deal with Glo.

Glo’s spokesperson, Charles Ikoabasi, however, declined to comment on these reports.

However, MTN’s General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Funmilayo Onajide, acknowledged to PREMIUM TIMES that there was an existing restriction.

“Companies sign what is known as exclusivity clauses with their brand ambassadors. Typically this would impose a restriction on the brand ambassador not to work for a competing brand within a stipulated period. This period of exclusivity is typically the duration of the agreement or as may be agreed. The exclusivity provisions does not typically extend to stopping ambassadors from interacting with each other provided what they propose to do does not amount to a breach of their obligation under the brand contract,” Ms. Onajide said.

She added that each celebrity brand ambassador signed a different deal depending on the agreement reached by both parties.

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