Economic recession killing Nigeria’s advertising industry – Odigbo, AAAN president
— 10th August 2018
The Managing Director, DDB Lagos, Mr. Ikechi Odigbo, was elected because the 20th President of the Affiliation of Advertising Businesses of Nigeria (AAAN). On this interview, Odigbo unfolds his agenda for the affiliation beneath his management. Excerpts:
I’ve served in numerous capacities in AAAN’s Government Council underneath a number of leaders akin to Funmi Onabolu. I served as an ex officio member throughout Mrs. Bunmi Oke’s tenure. I used to be the Publicity Secretary throughout Kelechi Nwosu’s management. I subsequently served as Vice President through the tenure of Kayode Oluwasona, the speedy previous president of the affiliation. What I noticed was profound dedication by the management. I used to be, subsequently, impressed by the extent of ardour and dedication that the management demonstrated at numerous occasions in managing the affairs of the affiliation within the midst of very difficult circumstances.
As you’re conscious, at present, the fortune of our industry has been on the decline and it has notably been impacted by the financial recession. To see individuals give their all to see the affiliation transfer ahead gave me no selection once I was referred to as upon to serve than to see it as a chance not simply to maintain the flag flying, however to drive the specified change that may take the affiliation to the subsequent degree.
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I consider that simply as my predecessors have set the correct examples when it comes to dedication and sacrificial management, there are nonetheless extra selflessness and inventiveness required to maneuver the affiliation ahead. I additionally consider that the difficult circumstances we discover ourselves in as advertising practitioners can even present alternatives for us collectively as professionals to undertake extra entrepreneurial strategy to our enterprise.
You’re proper. The quantity has dwindled. As at immediately, we have now about 80 registered businesses as towards over 100 within the not too distant previous. The cause for the dwindling quantity isn’t far-fetched. We’ve conditions through which many businesses have been scuffling with how to deal with the uncertainty on the enterprise panorama. However, apparently, for the previous two years, we have now had fairly a big uptake in new members signing up and approaching board as affiliate members. Some businesses that had fallen by the best way aspect have additionally resuscitated and have been readmitted.
Sure, there are challenges. We might have a greater state of affairs as regards the monetary stability of our members. I might somewhat concentrate on the positives and say, given how fragile the state of affairs has been, we’ve got to offer kudos to our members for being resilient and shifting forward. AAAN had, prior to now couple of years, put in place enterprise summits to assist our members higher respect the dynamics of the financial system and the place the financial system is headed and the right way to mitigate businesses’ vulnerability towards the bearish developments within the financial system.
We’re going to be taking it additional as a result of we have now realised that our members have been bedevilled by very unfavourable phrases of doing enterprise with advertisers. We now have conditions the place, regardless of signing contracts, phrases of doing enterprise between shoppers and businesses are arbitrarily reviewed. After a contract is signed, six months down the road, a shopper involves say ‘we can only pay 40 per cent or 50 per cent of the agreed fee’. It’s like take it or depart it state of affairs. We discover such arbitrariness when it comes to doing enterprise eroding values for our businesses.
We even have the problem of concepts’ theft. A state of affairs the place businesses are referred to as for pitches and the potential shopper prefers a specific proposal, however goes forward and provides it to a different company to adapt and simply tweak a bit to make it appear to be unique whereas the company that originated the popular proposal is left excessive and dry.
The problem of pitch rejection payment can also be an issue to cope with. Businesses are spending some huge cash to provide you with proposals every time we’re invited for pitches. Nevertheless, on the finish of the day when the pitches are inconclusive, or when the winner emerges, others that participated will not be paid their obligatory pitch rejection charge. So, there are extra points that we have to handle.
What we deliver on our agenda is to deal with these by partaking ADVAN (Advertisers Affiliation of Nigeria). We intend to have a agency handshake with ADVAN and attempt to work out areas of widespread curiosity to enhance the relationships between businesses and shoppers. We additionally recognize that shoppers even have their very own points relating to how they conduct their enterprise. Nevertheless, we would like to have the ability to create that robust working relationship with ADVAN to make sure technique of doing enterprise holds in skilled context to make sure a win-win relationship between our member businesses and the shoppers.
Copyright legal guidelines
Sure. We’re exploring that, however we additionally have to be cautious to make sure that we work inside the ambit of our duty as knowledgeable affiliation. There are some issues that our businesses simply need to do for themselves, however we’re ready to discover the best way to include a standard template that may be adopted throughout board, a authorized framework to guard mental properties and artistic works and proposals developed by the businesses. In fact, we do respect that for every client-agency contract signed, there are authorized clauses. It won’t be one thing we will handle beneath the umbrella of the affiliation, however requires correct schooling of our members to understand the authorized implications of the dedication they make when signing off on contracts.
I feel the essential factor is to make sure these businesses meet the statutory necessities as offered in APCON’s reforms. The place these necessities usually are not met, they’re working outdoors the ambit of the regulation. It’s unlawful. Having stated that, I don’t assume it’s to the good thing about any organisation to function an in-house company. The cause is that a part of the advantages you get from an company as strategic associate is that such company turns into a bridge of greatest advertising apply. For instance, inside the company I work with, DDB, we handle a telco shopper, monetary providers shoppers, FMCG shoppers and know-how shoppers. What we discover is that once we interact every shopper, we convey a flexible vary of experiences and factors of view based mostly on the myriad of concepts we now have with numerous shoppers to bear upon the shopper’s enterprise.
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However when you might have an in-house company, they function from a really slender viewpoint, simply concerning the enterprise. What occurs is that it turns into cocooned; the tradition of the host firm now defines the way it engages the artistic course of and on the finish of the day, its means to cross fertilise concepts is hampered. I feel it’s greatest to get an company companion that may see issues from a unique and brisker perspective, that’s intimate with your corporation, however is unbiased and has exposures to have the ability to enter with a richer vein of perception as a strategic companion.
The APCON reform has not been absolutely carried out on the anticipated velocity and zeal. We need to give kudos to present management of APCON for taking the required steps to implement the primary part of the reforms. The APCON council was dissolved in 2014 and has not been correctly constituted. This has hindered the operation of the council whereas skeletal operations proceed till a council is correctly constituted. We would like to have the ability to attain out as a brand new exco to our supervisory ministry, the Ministry of Info, with a view to remedying the state of affairs by making certain that a council is correctly constituted within the sense that eminently certified professionals from the advertising, media and advertising group are constituted as board and inaugurated.
This has all the time been the apply and that is the widespread approach skilled associations represent their management. I consider that the management of our supervising ministry is conscious of this as a result of we’ve got knowledgeable them prior to now close to addressing the structure of the council, however we’ll proceed to succeed in out and make selections with a view to hastening the method.
So, we need to use the chance to implore the supervising ministry to speed up the structure of the council for the well being of advertising apply and in addition given the numerous roles that APCON performs as a regulator of public communication. That is much more in order we get to the election season.
There’s have to be skilled with a view to making sure the very best ethics and decency and ensuring that the kind of messages that exit will by no means threaten the steadiness or peace of the nation.
I can’t say the industry has been laid again. To be trustworthy with you, loads of work has been finished behind the scene to deal with the difficulty, however it additionally goes to point out that much more strong lobbying is required to place throughout our place and be sure that issues are so as.
By the way, this concern brings us to the third pillar or aim of our administration and that’s to make sure that the advertising academy takes off in our tenure. We’ve had a number of professional contributions by distinguished practitioners to place in place a really strong curriculum and framework for the take-off of the academy. We’re on the essential juncture of the launch and I consider that with dedication coming from the membership, who respect that this can be a lengthy deserved step in the correct path to start to drive capability constructing and professional improvement of our membership. The academy is a dream whose time has come and the exco will do every part potential to make sure it turns into operational in a few months from now.
There’s have to actively interact the advertisers’ affiliation. We realised that our members need enterprise and that drive for enterprise will include all types of arbitrary phrases, particularly in relation to pitches. We consider that one of the best strategy for any company is that when you’re approached for a pitch and you actually need to pitch, ensure you talk it to the affiliation that you’ve been invited for a pitch. The secretariat of the affiliation will know you will have been invited and can take it upon itself to speak the phrases of engagement for the pitch to the potential shopper, together with circumstances reminiscent of pitch rejection charges and others.
When it’s accomplished this manner, the company that’s inquisitive about pitching is protected relatively than instantly making these calls for. When an company makes these calls for, it’s already within the black e-book of
the corporate. I consider it’s a step in the direction of resolving the problems. We have to come along with widespread curiosity. Once we go it alone with out widespread curiosity, we might be weak out there. Once we come beneath the umbrella of an affiliation and collectively pursue a stronger widespread enterprise curiosity, we might have higher benefit.
The AAAN just isn’t an affiliation for giant businesses; it’s a degree platform for the advertising group to return collectively to advertise widespread curiosity. I can guarantee you that it’s the purpose for the existence of the affiliation. Any small company not absolutely optimising or benefiting from the affiliation due to such perceptions is undoing itself. We have now a Skilled Apply Committee (PPC) that listens to the conduct of member businesses and the place such conduct as expressed is discovered to exist, the required disciplinary motion can be taken. Additionally, APCON is a correctly constituted affiliation with the required buildings to advertise ethics and commonplace of advertising in Nigeria.
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I consider LAIF is among the key initiatives of AAAN. We now have had over 12 years of LAIF and it has continued to develop with growing status. The award has develop into extremely wanted; LAIF is turning into extra aggressive that you simply discover controversies in some situations. One of many methods we’ve designed to mitigate that is to diversify the jury to incorporate non-advertising professionals. The exco of the board is constituted not solely by our advertising members, but in addition we have now membership of EXMAN, APCON and MIPAN.
So, it’s a various board, which is consultant of all the media and advertising sector sitting to preside over the affairs of LAIF. This variety can also be current within the LAIF jury. Having chaired LAIF for 3 years, I’ve little question that vital advances have been made. and with the present goal of diversifying or increasing the size of the award to incorporate some nations in West Africa, the longer term is brighter for LAIF Awards.
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