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"We need to work harder in getting additional values for our People" - AAAN President

The Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria had its 42nd AGM/Congress recently.  Fielding questions from Brandcrunch on the last one year, Kelechi Nwosu, President of the association says his team has performed creditably well but in his characteristic bluntness disclosed that in this last lap, the AAAN needs to work harder to deliver additional value to members of the association. Enjoy the Excerpts
 
The 42nd AGM/Congress and its theme “What’s next?” 
The thinking is that we have been on as an association for 42 years   but the fact is that the advertising  industry have doubled the number years, is 80 years if you remember Lintas and we are currently at cross-road on a number of issues. 
 
An Industry and its Cross-roads
 One is the APCON reforms which are fundamental to changing the structure and the way the industry is organized.  There are questions, we have done these reforms, what’s next?  We have to start implementing them. How will they affect the industry? How will it shape the industry of the future?  Second point in terms of the cross-roads, is that we are at the nexus of progress as a country. Remember they keep talking about “Africa, Nigeria rising” and there are definitely changing needs of the Nigerian Advertiser, the client, we need to understand and mine that changing needs that was why we got Dele Anifowoshe, Brand Director, Airtel Nigeria, to come and tell us what are the client’s expectations in the future. He talked about metrics, measurements, integration, understanding your client, being able to show some skills. There were so many angles to what he discussed. 
 
The next part is that there is a huge influence of digital/ social media, how does it affect the kind of business we do? How does it affect traditional advertising? How do we go forward from here? That for me is the third trend in it.
 
The forth one, is that is there anything like Nigerian advertising? At this point should we be asking ourselves what do we need to do to make our works a lot more iconic? A lot more representative the way you have Brazilian Advertising, you have UK Advertising? All of those advertising represent very well a particular geography, also are world-class and they come from a particular area. Those are some of those issues on that particular cross-road which we found ourselves now.
 
Low Attendance at AGM/COngress and its causal effects 
I think a lot of people didn’t come, maybe we should not say “a lot of people”, actually we had about 55 or 60 delegates.  Anyway, one of the reasons for the perceived low attendance was that there were a number of conflicting events – Bluebird held its anniversary – The APCON Chairman, Udeme Ufot and Lanre Adisa had to dash back because of the event, I was also supposed to be there but obviously I couldn’t.  That was one issue that conflicted with the 42nd AGM/Congress.  The other issue could be economic, let us be honest with ourselves, it has not been a particularly good time for the economy not just for our industry, that is the reality.
 
 The reality is that the economic direction of the government needs to be made known for people and organisations to align that is the truth. I think those are the two issues that might have affected attendance at the AGM. 
 
Share the benefits
We will have to transmit it to them. Typically, we share the materials that were presented, we’ll  also share the discussions at our business sessions. These will be passed unto the rest of our member agencies. 
 
One full year on the hot seat!
It’s been a wonderful year, it’s been good. Our administration has enjoyed tremendous support from virtually everybody in the association. We have been able to achieve a couple of things that we set our minds on for instance we finally got back on-board with the reforms, we were pushing it and pressuring the government to make good what they did with APCON in that sense that was a success.  In view of professionalism, we have reinstated our trainings, now they are a lot more regular than they were, this year we have had three or four this year. The Advertising Academy that were looking at, we were talking of taking more years to take stock of it and continue it, now we are at the threshold of starting it, I hope we can start it this year. 
 
The challenge, going forward
We still need to work harder in getting additional value for our members. That is one area that I see we have not done as well as I had wished.  Our root to that was to show our self to government and use that as an opportunity to do really good business. We have done modestly well there, we have done some public advocacy, which you may have seen with the EBOLA and anti-violence campaigns but we now need to pull together and do a lot more in that space.  That will be my view for the past one year. It’s been mixed, we have done some things well, we have started some things and some things we need to enhance going forward.