Members of the Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria (OAAN) and other key stakeholders in the Nigerian marketing communications industry have reiterated the need for the federal government to constitute a board for the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON).
This was part of the highlights at the OAAN’s 35th Annual General Meeting (AGM) with the theme: “OOH Business and Emerging Realities,” held virtuall recently.
The meeting, which had heads of key sectoral bodies in attendance, addressed both the protracted and Covid-19 pandemic-induced challenges bedeviling the industry, and proffered solutions capable of lifting the advertising sub-sector out of its present doldrums.
OAAN President, Emma Ajufo, decried the rudderless state of the advertising industry, citing the prolonged absence of APCON Council as the bane of the sub-sector. He, however, wondered what a comparatively operational APCON without a Council would do if a Council were constituted.
“Our industry is like a flock of sheep without a shepherd. This is because APCON has no Council, and this had been going on even before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Meanwhile, APCON without a Council is doing fairly well. One can only imagine what will happen if there were a Council,” Ajufo said.
The APCON Acting Registrar, Mrs. Ijedi Iyoha, during her presentation, thanked the OAAN leadership and captains of other sectoral bodies who were present at the meeting for living up to the billing despite the daunting challenges presented by the pandemic.
The Guest Speaker at the event and the Managing Director of Starcom Media Perspectives Jude Odia, emphasised on audience measurement, stating that for Nigeria’s out-of-home to take pride of place in the advertising sub-sector, accurate measurement technology must be put in place.
He noted that the days of competition among marketing communications practitioners were dead and urged OAAN to go beyond creating awareness to nurturing an environment that would encourage industry collaboration.
‘We must understand that the reason why we are in business is because of the consumer. So, collaboration is the new normal because at the end of the day, we have only one industry to build,” he said.
Corroborating Odia’s position on audience measurement, the President of Advertisers Association of Nigeria (ADVAN), Bunmi Adeniba called on the industry practitioners to embrace data-driven marketing, adding that accurate measurement, especially in the out-of-home, will help to drive growth in Nigeria’s SMEs sector.
Speaking in the same vein, Director, Department of Outdoor Advertisement and Signage (DOAS), Dr. Babagana Adams, urged practitioners to be professional in their practice, while incorporating world best practices. He warned that the proliferation of boards and the presence of non-registered practitioners would no longer be tolerated, especially in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
The President of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN),Steve Babaeko, in his presentation, denounced the non-constitution of an APCON Council, cataloguing the challenges the prolonged absence of authority poses to the entire ad industry.
On his part, the President of the Media Independents Association of Nigeria (MIPAN), Femi Adelusi, noted that the global out-of-home industry, Nigeria inclusive, had been doing well up until the outbreak of the pandemic. He expressed confidence that the advertising sub-sector will emerge victorious out of the current crisis.
Adelusi hinged his confidence on the possible innovation that the pandemic-induced crises may foster among practitioners, while hoping that governments will do more in the areas of financial incentives and relaxing certain regulations.
The OAAN Chairman of the board of trustees, Kole Ademulegun, advocated a level playing field for the industry practitioners, believing that such will create a vibrant out-of-home industry in Nigeria.