Infighting, Regulation Stifle Advertising Industry | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Infighting, Regulation Stifle Advertising Industry

Posted: May 26, 2016 at 5:57 am   /   by   /   comments (0)


Olamide Bakare Lagos


Infighting within the advertising trade union, Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN), poor regulation and quality of copies have been identified as the bane of the Nigerian advertising industry, Independent has gathered.

The industry, with a current billing of about N150 billion, which is less than a million dollars, has remained stunted in spite of the huge market potential that abound in the country. The industry has lagged behind peers like Kenya and South Africa which have less population and potential.

Specifically, the industry in the last ten years has had to contend with the protracted delay in the constitution of Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) board, which impeded on its oversight functions.

The industry is equally been affected by loss of businesses, which are occasioned by the dearth of creativity among players.

Findings by Independent revealed that most clients particularly the multinationals are no longer thrilled by the Ads being churned out by many agencies and have continually complained about the falling standard in Ad copies.

Market watchers, who spoke with Independent, agreed that the declining state of the industry falls largely on the poor standing of AAAN as a body.

They noted that most agencies are at the point of extinction due to unhealthy competition occasioned by a lack of adequate regulation.

A source in the industry confirmed that about four agencies control as much as 95 percent of industry billings, thereby creating a near monopoly and its attendant sloppiness in response to improvement in service delivery.

Lekan Soetan, a practitioner, said many agencies are almost at the point of extinction because many of them lack any business to handle.

Soetan added that the situation was not peculiar to some agencies as it is also being felt by many of the highly revered agencies.

To him, the industry has suffered this fate because the umbrella body was not being run effectively as it used to be.

“I think the situation in which many agencies are right now is nothing to write home about. Though times are tough, but much of the problems are largely as a result of the ways agencies are positioned and the impact the professional body has had on the industry generally,” he said.

While there has been argument that the dearth of creativity started many years back, stakeholders opined that the infighting in the administration of AAAN where owners of the business are opposed to their employees rising to the top echelon of the association has contributed greatly to the poor showing of the industry.

Mr. Ajayi Lanre, a stakeholder, said the situation of the body has not been the same since the coming on board of Rufai Ladipo, which drew opposition from some set of practitioners, who considered him not fit for the role on the mere fact that he was an employee in the industry as opposed to being an owner. This has created distrust in the industry.

However, some practitioners believe that the failures of AAAN are largely due to the personalities involved and not a question of employee turned president issue.

Samuel Bolarinwa, a brand analyst, thinks the fate that has befallen the industry had little to do with the man at the helms of affairs of AAAN since effectiveness in leadership is largely based on clout.

“I saw this coming immediately he became vice president. But again, it is about who the person in question has been all along. I think if he has the clout, he would take the industry to greater heights, although he is a new comer in AAAN politics. In his days at Insight, he was not so much in AAAN politics. But I think he may succeed”, said Bolarinwa.