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RANK, RANT AND REALITY

Like it is in other industries, one of the unwritten codes to cheaply climb up the rank ladder in our ad industry is to prostitute agencies within the shortest period of time. With every new agency, you move to your next rank. Procedural include: Get your portfolio handy; it contains stolen works? Who cares! After all, nobody takes the pain to verify if the works are truly yours or not. Besides, some flimsy test might be conducted to confirm your ability to perform, and for goodness sake, that is all that matters. And if by default you have a mouthful of high-sounding, grammar-loquaciousness, coupled with a gripping dramatic mien; then you can be sure you’ll successfully coast home into your preferred agency to assume your new rank. And in fact, the more you repeat this inglorious circle of agency prostitution, the more your rank and remuneration progressively rise like fermented yeast.
 
As ridiculous as the above narrative is, that used to be the snapshot of our ad industry sometimes ago, though to some, it’s still in existence on a minute scale. Nonetheless, such modus operandi doesn’t effectively cut it anymore. And in fact, agency prostitution could degenerate into a flighty reputation, an attribute most serious minded agencies of today frown at.
 
In addition, key people in most creative shops today are not only vast on majority of the great campaigns that get churned out every now and then, home and abroad (thanks to social media), they equally get to know the names of the personnel behind such great works via the various online platforms that daily showcase these creative works. Hence, those unethical practices such as, stealing other people’s work to build a portfolio, an act that once characterized our industry, can’t successfully fly today, neither will a highfaluting loquaciousness prompt an upward climb on the rank ladder. 
 
According to David Bjorn Droga, a creative honcho and founder of Droga5, in an interview he granted PRNewswire sometimes ago, he stated: “…To grow as an agency, showcase awardable jobs. To grow as a talent, create awardable ideas.”
 
From the above submission, growth, in an ideal setting, should come from a consistent diligence, and a culture of creating awardable ideas. It shouldn’t really come from the insubstantiality and rashness of agency prostitutions. And in furtherance, Droga’s submission equally underscores one of the key roles of award shows within the industry.
 
A piece this writer did sometimes ago titled “Warning: Creative Destruction,” which argued for the importance of award shows, instigated various reactions from readers, both constructive and otherwise. However, one that stood out from the lot came from a thought leader within the industry. His contribution aptly highlighted the end benefits of awards, which include: Portfolio building, Internal recognition and promotion, Self-actualization, Bragging rights, Team motivation, Group ranking (agency networks), Industry ranking etc.
 
Industry ranking often comes from credible institutions that, in most cases, put up award shows to recognize excellence. The Loeries is one of such institutions. 
 
Based in Johannesburg, South Africa, Loeries is all about inspiring creative pyrotechnics via its annual Loerie Awards. In its 2016 industry ranking by agency, region excluding South Africa, TBWA/RAAD in United Arab Emirates (UAE) tops the list. Noah’s Ark Communications, the only Nigeria agency on the list, clinched the 9th position, thereby becoming the 1st in Sub-Saharan Africa. 
 
Back home, the Lagos Advertising Ideas Festival (LAIF) is another credible source for industry ranking by agency. In its 2015 rank chart, as determined by the award wins in the 2015 LAIF edition, Insight and DDB won more medals. Noah’s Ark capped the day with a Grand Prix win, hence topping the chart in 2015.
 
In the light of the above, the winning jobs that get agencies recognized and moved up in ranking should equally do likewise for the personnel behind the winning jobs. 
 
Again, the 2016 LAIF Award is around the corner; another opportunity for both agencies and personnel in agencies to take the center stage. With the new chairman of the 2016 jury onboard, in person of Mr. Clement Omemu, MD, CEO of Black Sea Advertising, coupled with newer categories now added to the award list, and LAIF’s steady expansion into a regional award show, this year’s edition promises to throw up newer ranks, rants and reality.
 
… I’m Just Saying.