2018: ENOUGH OF THE DISRESPECT!
Yes, enough of this mess! Perhaps, the most ridiculous council members of APCON ever to be inaugurated were the ones illegally foisted on the industry around 2014 by the Goodluck Jonathan administration.
The said council was to be headed by one Prince Ngozi Emioma who happened to be a total stranger as far as the ad industry was concerned. His appointment was a blatant violation of the Nigeria Advertising Laws, Rules and Regulations Act 55 of 1988 (as amended), which states that a chairman, who shall be a distinguished fellow of the profession, is ideal to be appointed by the president.
Industry veterans fought tooth and nail to resist such anomaly.
And as if such disrespect from government wasn’t enough, the current administration of Buhari has again defecated on the industry by appointing another outsider and politician, Honorable Jacob Sunday, to come steer the ship of APCON. Truth be told, its either government doesn’t profoundly understand how the ad profession operates, or as an industry, we’re nothing but a lame-ass to the government. Or how else do you explain this constant derisive attitude of government?
Ironically, one wonders: how come we build other notable and respectable brands but when it comes to our own collective brand as an industry, it seems to be disrespected at every turn?
Ours is an industry where majority of clients see us as anything but real professionals. In fact, by engaging our services, some clients believe they are doing us a favour since they’re of the opinion that any dimwit in Shomolu can do what we do. And that explains why some clients disrespect the rules of engagement. Fair enough, few agencies amongst those that constitute the New Order are fast changing such a snide narrative.
Ours is an industry where even the teeming insiders (admen) see nothing good in our numerous associations. To many, APCON as a body seems faraway from the radar of a typical employee in an agency. And that largely explains why some practitioners see no sense in paying any stipulated fee; that’s if such practitioner is even registered to start with. And with government now steadily joining the fray of scorners, this should be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
The onus is on us as an industry to put our house in order.
According to Shina Ogunyemi, emeritus professor of business ethics and managerial anthropology at the Lagos Business School, Pan Atlantic University: “to fully earn the respect you deserve, you need to rise from a mere creative practitioner into a well-rounded business professional.”
Perhaps the above take explains why associations like ICAN and NMA rarely suffer the disrespect we often get from the Federal Government. And unlike APCON, these bodies are also truly autonomous from the shackles of government.
To earn the respect we deserve as an industry, we need to move from the tag of “practitioners” to that of “professionals.” This is beyond mere nomenclature.
A practitioner is simply a technician that ensures that the nuts-and-bolts of a client’s communication campaign are up and running. However, a professional takes this skill further.
A professional is the pathfinder that equally shares the client’s vision and offers creative guidance that prepares in advance for situations yet to bubble to the surface, hence building businesses that in turn build the nation.
Professional is who we are, and what we should constantly uphold so as to earn respect not only from amongst ourselves, but also from the client and the government at large.
APCON should overhaul its entire structure and strive to become autonomous. It should further inspire professional standards across the industry, and try to do more to improve the work condition of our teeming, so called foot soldiers (young practitioners), hence they’ll willingly come aboard to support any initiative of the association, registration and dues payment inclusive.
Clients should be made to respect every rule of engagement; but most importantly, APCON should become self-sufficient and free from the cuffs of the Federal Government.
… I’M JUST SAYING.