There is a change of baton at the Advertisers Association of Nigeria (ADVAN). The change didn’t come without bruising some ego as the much anticipated candidate, Executive Director (Commercial) Promasidor, Onyekachi Onubogu, lost the post of the president of ADVAN to a less fancied Unilever Nigeria’s Brand Building Director, David Okeme.
The election which became the ADVAN first keenly contested election at the its annual general meeting/marketers’ evening also witnessed emergences of other key officers such Joan Ihekwaba GM Marketing UACN Foods 1st Vice President, Bimbo Alabi Marketing Manager SoKlin 2nd Vice-President, and Bukunola Ogunnusi PR & Advert Manager Toyota Nigeria Treasurer.
Others include Samson Oloche Marketing Manager (Non-Alcoholic drinks) NB Plc Publicity Secretary, while the three Ex-offcios are Toruka Osandukwo Head, Communications UBA, Osamede Uwubamen Head of Corporate and Investment, Marketing and communication -StanbicIBTC and Ibraheem Awelenje Category Manager Breakfast Cereals and Ediri Ose-Ediale remains the GM/Executive Secretary of the association.
The election signposted the paradigm shift from the orthodox succession plan of the association. The Chief Executive Officer of Nielsen West Africa who was in line to take over from General Manager, Business Development & Distribution of Nigeria, Kola Oyeyemi could not do so because he has crossed from the advertisers side to agency. The Executive Director, Marketing Service, Iquo Ukoh, the second Vice President was also learnt to be uninterested in the highly coveted position.
Sources closed to 789Marketing said that the election of Okeme may have left some crack in the wall of the association as Onubogu was left fuming after what he perceived as betraying by top echelon of the past executive committee.
Apart from having relatively young executive committee, the new look exco also have financial institution marking a strong showing as Stanbic IBTC and UBA were also included at the level of ex-officio.
Speaking with journalists after the annual general meeting of the association, Okeme said his administration will focus on ensuring that the country becomes the centre of attraction as far as advertising is concerned.
He said, “In terms of focus, I think the exco will shift the focus a bit and that shift will be moving from being a pressure group to an enabler of growth in the industry. There is a Nigeria market agenda that we have and we are going to leverage on it.
Nigeria is the biggest economy in Africa and when you talk about advertising platform, people tend to go south of the continent but this EXCO will work to make Nigeria the centre of gravity in advertising. These are real big ambitions and we will mobilise our partners to make this happen” Okeme lamented that about a million dollars is being spent every year on advertising, adding that “it is a very big investment but if you look at the kind of returns that we get, it shows that growth among our members is between zero and 5 percent.
According to him, with the high level of investment that goes into advertising, it was unfortunate that advertisers were not getting the desired returns promising that the association was ready to collaborate and deploy all that is necessary to ensure clients get the desired leverage .He said “So one of the things that ADVAN we look into is how to leverage on the industry such that we can build greater efficiency in terms of advertising returns,”