While declaring open the 40th Annual Congress of Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria recently, the executive governor of Ogun-State Senator Ibikunle Amosun charged the practitioners to stick to the ethics of advertising profession. The governor who came to the former President Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta with a large entourage consisting of the top echelon on the Ogun state government seized the opportunity to inform the gathering that his administration was in the process of engaging the core professionals in the association to execute a first-class rebranding exercise to effectively position the state as a business and tourist destination of choice not only in Nigeria but in Africa.
Governor Amosun confirmed that the existence of the association has become strategic and important to the socio-economic and political development of the nation noting that “This event is an avenue to measure the past and present of advertising in Nigeria and to take the necessary measures needed for the progress and enhancement of the advertising sector in years to come.”
…On how he thinks advertising can upgrade the status of the state, the governor said when one engaged the services of experts especially the people that know much about branding he or she will surely get good services in return. “One can see different advertising campaigns planned and executed by these experts and fortunately they are sons and daughters of the soil, they would re brand this state with passion and I believe they are trained to do the job I mean they are professionals so definitely they would add value to what we are doing in the state.” Governor Ibikunle assured.
Excerpts of AAAN President Mrs. Bunmi Oke’s Welcome Address
I am delighted to welcome you to this special occasion of the 40th AGM/Congress the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN). The 40th Anniversary is a mark of continued creative excellence and contribution to the growth of Nigeria and global Advertising and economy at large.
We have gathered here today to take a bold step in shaping our profession. The profession that has made us all very noble people in our various communities. As experts in communications of ideas and values, I expect that at the end of our deliberations at this Conference, we would have articulated clear ideas on how government can reach out and touch the hearts of the generality of Nigerians and so carry the populace along in its march towards true national development. Governments all over the world have retained the services of professional marketing communication outfits to sell their policies. In the same vein, it is pertinent to acknowledge the role some AAAN member agencies played in the nation’s growth and development.
Agencies roles in national development goes beyond offering marketing communication services to the private sector. It extends to fully engendering proper understanding of government policies and revealing to the public ways by which they can participate, benefit and contribute to the growth of the economy.
We have driven the economy fairly well in the past years. Our members have successfully built and managed brands that are of international repute. We have contributed our quota to the development of the Nigerian economy.
This theme ( Advertising In Nigeria: 40 Years Done, The Next 40) is timely and could not have come at a better time than now. It has come not only at the time when the Association is marking its 40th AGM/Congress, but also at a time when Integrated Marketing Communication is bracing up for the challenges of globalization and reform in the marketing communication sector of the Nigerian economy.
I therefore urge us to be frank in our discussions and contributions so that at the end of the session, we would have reached meaningful decisions that would not only move our industry forward, but would enhance the relevance of our Association to all our members in particular and the nation in general.
I implore you all to focus on this theme within and beyond the conference period. Let us harness our knowledge, views, perceptions and experiences and channel them through effective and productive contributions towards the realization of our corporate and collective objectives towards building a thriving economy as well as a virile and enviable nation brand.
Thank you all for listening.
BUNMI OKE, frpa
AAAN Chair as CMO
In his welcome address at the congress, AAAN Chairman, Board of Trustees, Chief Ayo Owoborode observed that the association has experienced many milestones in the last 40 years. He expressed his gratitude to Ogun-state indigenes who are practitioners and have been championing the cause of advertising profession in the country. He therefore advised the Ogun State government to work with these practitioners who are APCON registered to develop and rebrand the state. “I wish to advise the Ogun-State government to utilize the services of the professionals who are indigenes of the state and are APCON registered to develop and rebrand the state for the betterment of the state citizens. He added: “Let me quickly refresh the audience’s memory that Ogun State had produced eight past presidents of the association in the last 40 years.”
Mr. Doghudge as a repository of Advertising History and Wisdom
In his review of the association in the last 40 years, former APCON Chairman, Chris Doghudje lamented the total absence of the 23 pioneer agencies that started the association in today’s AAAN attributing it to an obvious lack of succession plans. The doyen fondly referred to as “Prof” in the industry circles took the audience through the evolution of advertising in Nigeria as well as the evolution of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria. He however found it curious after advertising agency business was indigenized by the Gowon administration in 1973, Nigerian agency owners still went behind to begin a scramble for affiliation with global agencies. He wondered aloud “Don’t you think that affiliation today is just a label? Is it guaranteeing you high plum accounts? Do you make big money now from affiliation? Let us begin to answer these questions as from now” Doghudje charged. He concluded that the largest agency in Japan is a fully owned Japanese indigenous agency. It was developed in Japan and is today perhaps the world’s largest communications group. He said the current scenario should be pondered upon by all progressive advertising professionals.
On Leadership and the Future of Advertising
The Executive Director, Stanbic-IBTC bank Obinnia Abajue, in his speech titled Corporate Governance, Leadership and the Future made the audience understand that governance is a mechanism through which leaders are able to direct, monitor and supervise the conduct and operations of the corporation and its management in a manner that ensures the high acceptability, stewardship, leadership, direction and control. Obinnia went further to define leadership as what makes governance possible. He also affirmed that where governance and leadership meet is opportunity. According to Obinnia who became a chartered accountant at the age of 20 “This opportunity defines the future and must be taken by only those that understand and are prepared.”
On Future Trends…
On the future of advertising, immediate past Chief Marketing Officer, Airtel, Olu Akanmu charged all the practitioners to be ready for the customers of the future who he described as sophisticated and technologically savvy that would easily use multiple devices to talk to themselves. Akanmu also made them realize that there would be an emergence of big data in a more digital world “Creative copy writing or brand content creation and publishing only will no longer be enough for advertising practitioners but the combination of both to form advertising story telling is highly needed for the future change in advertising” Akanmu noted.
On the addition of advertising practice in the Nigeria universities educational curricular in order to face the future challenges in advertising, Akanmu charged the leadership of the association to establish proper advertising vocational schools to train the prospective advertising practitioners in order to make them capable of facing and solving the advertising challenges in future and to raise the standard of advertising. “Advertising is a science and also a vocation, you don’t just study a book and become an advertiser, studying mass communication alone cannot make you a professional, you must get your hands dirty, advertising also needs to be taught in an informal way. After 40 years, you need proper advertising vocational schools in order to take us to the next level as far as advertising practice is concerned.” Akanmu recommended.
On Foreign Domination of Advertising in Nigeria…
During the interactive session, Managing Director of Prima Garnet and current chairman of Advertising Practitioners’ Council of Nigeria, Lolu Akinwunmi made the clarification on the rumpus over the influx of foreigners into the Nigeria advertising industry. According to Akinwunmi “Nobody is afraid of foreigners. I believe with many reasons that we are capable of controlling this profession. The foreigners can come to partner us but not to take over. We don’t want a situation where chief executive director comes from Asia, the creative director comes from Thailand and when they made money they go back and bring their sons to continue from where they stopped. This is what we said we don’t want. We don’t say they should not come but they should follow the rules of the advertising reforms in the country. It is not possible to shut the industry from foreigners, advertising is too global, they should come but within a certain period they must transfer skills to our people. The foreigners want to have 51% (and above)of the agencies shares and we said we cannot allow that to happen. It is not like that in other countries, Nigeria should not be an exception.” Lolu Clarified.
On AAAN Executive Council: The Old Becomes New
At the end of the 3-Day congress and AGM, President of AAAN, Mrs. Bunmi Oke and every member of the executive council were returned unopposed to their positions and duly sworn in by the Chairman of the Board of Trustees Chief Ayo Owoborode.