Brand Experts Differ On MTN Account Movement | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe

Brands & Marketing, Business

Brand Experts Differ On MTN Account Movement

Posted: May 25, 2015 at 12:01 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Olamide Bakare, who has been trailing the reaction following the public relations (PR) account movement of MTN to other agencies, reckons that it could spark off another round of controversy.   



It is no longer news that the multi-million naira account of one of the biggest telecommunication companies in Nigeria, MTN, which was once domiciled with foremost PR agencies had been won by other agencies. However, what has become controversial is the revelation that one of the winners of the account is not a member of the Public Relations Association (PRCAN).

It would be recalled that after a keenly contested pitch review that featured the incumbents, Marketing Mix and XLR8, a PR arm of DKK Advertising, Brook and Blakes and a few other agencies, the management of MTN Nigeria announced the appointment of DKK and Brooke and Blakes as the agencies that would be responsible for its account. While Brooke and Blake are noted as one of the big PR agencies, the same cannot be said of DKK, which was registered as an advertising agency.

While some analysts were of the view that it was an abuse and disrespectful to the PR profession on the part of the client to consider a non-registered PR company for its business, some believed that membership of a professional body such as PRCAN should not be seen taking the place of professionalism and ideas.

A brand analyst, Mr. Temitope Ajayi, while reacting to the development, said the action of MTN could send a wrong signal to other multinationals, which might be interested in engaging close associates in running the business. He said there was need for corporate players to engage professionals in the overall interest of the business.

Another brand expert, Mr. Niiyi Stevenson, said the action of the client did not negate any business ethics or rule as it was its prerogative to determine what would best suit its interest in line with the objective of driving sales and promoting the equity of the brand.

But the President of PRCAN, Mr. John Ehiguese, had condemned the action of the client, saying it erred by choosing a non-registered PR company for the account.

Although, the terms and conditions of the deal could not be ascertained, but industry source revealed that they are in line with current payment terms being offered to the outgoing agencies.

The source, who did not want his name in print, revealed that the management of the telco commended the contestants for their effort in mapping out plans for the brand but singled out one of the contestants for the creative work done.

According to the source, the decision to warehouse the major part of the account to DKK was informed by the fact that the agency gave a good account of itself during the presentation.

The source said, ” We are highly impressed by the presentation and as such could not turn down the idea of engaging the agency”.

Our correspondent gathered from an authoritative source that the DKK team gave the client more than what they bargained for. Even though tongues have been wagging over the announcement of DKK, a few analysts believed the choice of the winner must have been informed by the quality of presentations considering the pedigree of the multinationals that was involved

The review, according to a source, was said to have been held around March with the new holders of the account expected to kick start activities around the brand beginning from July.

It would be recalled that the incumbents which had been handling the account for more than a decade before the current review which saw them lose the account to the eventual winner of the pitch contributed greatly to building the brand to the status where it is at the moment.

Meanwhile, a top PR practitioner who did not want to be named for fear of being sanctioned by the association, disagreed with the view held in some quarters that membership of PRCAN should have been used as criteria for short listing agencies. He held that in an age of global competitiveness, professionalism and the strength of ideas should hold the key rather than belonging to an association. He explained further that client both locally and globally was interested in supremacy and depth of ideas as against relationship with local or global association.