AAAN, EXMAN Chart New Roadmap At Oshogbo, Abeokuta Conferences


Trade/Marketing Manager Open Market, Precious Muotoh (left); a retailer at Mushin Market, Olawunmi Omoware; Harpic Brand Ambassador, Helen Paul; and a Key Distributor for Reckitt Benckiser, Tayo Ojuri at the presentation of gifts to beneficiaries during the open market reward for Harpic All-in-one campaign…recently.

IT was conference galore in the month of July as the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria, (AAAN) and the Experiential Marketing Association of Nigeria (EXMAN) used the last two weekends to organise their annual general meetings in Osogbo and Abeokuta respectively.

EXMAN held their second annual general meeting and elections at Green Legacy Resort, Abeokuta, while AAAN held their 42nd annual general meeting last weekend at Leisure Spring Hotel, Osogbo.

The EXMAN AGM, which attracted about 40 existing and newly registered experiential agencies, featured lectures, discussions, excursions and a general election where new sets of leaders were elected to run the association.

Bemoaning the present economic challenges that have affected players in the last decade, outgoing EXMAN President, Kayode Olagesin in his welcome address stressed that the experiential sector, which controls over 40 per cent of the estimated N150 billion budget of the integrated marketing communications industry in Nigeria must ensure that its value and functions are sustained if they must remain relevant.

We must constantly evaluate our capacity to provide quality services, examine our code of conduct to ensure that standards on ethics are maintained, while we re-jig our strategies to overcome emerging challenges,” Olagesin entreated.

The theme of this year’s EXMAN AGM was “Institutionalising the Business – Moving from Entrepreneur Mode to Institutional Mode”. According to Olagesin, it was the passion to move players ahead from the current industry level of focusing on operational activities that motivated the planning committee to come out with the theme.

An expert in corporate re-engineering and Managing Partner of Blueprint Consulting, Anthony Agbonlahor was given the assignment of unraveling how marketing communications practitioners can institutionalise their companies and even move into the capital market for the investing public to share in their gains.

While acknowledging the difficulties for entrepreneurs to willingly cede power, Agbonlahor advised all practitioners to plan for the maturity stage of their businesses where they will take the backstage. During the elections, Rotimi Olaniyan, Managing Director of Advantage emerged the new President of EXMAN.

Other members of the executive who were also elected alongside the President include Vice President, Wole Olagundoye; General Secretary, Kehinde Salami; Financial Secretary, Kayode Idowu; and Publicity Secretary, Abiodun Oshinibosi. At the AAAN annual general meeting, the main issue was the future of advertising in Nigeria.

The controversial 2013 APCON Reforms that put hurdles on the path of foreign agencies seeking to participate in Nigeria’s advertising business came into focus.

The reforms were evaluated by the CEO of Noah’s Ark, Lanre Adisa, in a paper presented at the event. Adisa suggested that some re-consideration were urgently needed in the reforms in line with current realities.

He specifically picked holes in the provision that stipulates only 25 per cent shareholding for foreigners that want to play in Nigeria’s advertising space and recommended that the industry needs to “move from the 25 per cent foreign stake to 49 per cent where the majority of 51 per cent is held by Nigerians” Also speaking at the congress on the ‘Marketing of the Future’, Dele Anifowoshe, Marketing Director, Airtel said that clients are increasingly recognising the speed which consumers are evolving and therefore require agencies to keep pace, embrace digital marketing, redefine their value proposition and stay ahead.

According to him, clients are looking for partners who see the trend and follow it.

This is important as the business environment is driving clients’ decision-making and defining relationship with its partners. In his speech, Kelechi Nwosu, the president of AAAN stressed the importance of deepening the association’s relationship with government.

In his words, “as the market becomes more dynamic, the association needs to be on a good stead to do more business with clients and government.”

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