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AAAN repositions association, holds AGM in Asaba July

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Babaeko

• Laments lack of APCON chair, council
As the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN) prepares for its 46th Annual General Meeting and congress, which holds from July 11 to 13 in Asaba, Delta State, The Guardian recently caught up with the President, Mr Ikechi Odigbo and Vice President, Steve Babaeko, at their head office in Alausa, Lagos. The duo disclosed the administration’s plans to repositioning the association among other plans.

The theme of the AGM is ‘The War Within: Solutions For Survival’ seeks to force members to confront the issues within the industry’s operations and look inward towards strengthening relevance; be more dynamic in a highly competitive environment, says Odigbo, who is also Managing Director at DDB Lagos.

The association had only recently introduced a new brand identity, which according to Odigbo, represents the DNA of professionalism, creativity and excellence.

He said, “the introduction of a new logo this time is an opportunity for us to renew the values of AAAN and give a new face to the association; a modern outlook that repositions the association as a top leader; rural group leader and become more actively involved in advancing the interest of the association, creativity and profession as a whole.  We want our members to have a new sense of a new momentum going within the association towards being a more dynamic player within the marketing industry.”

Speaking further on the colours on the logo, the president said blue represents stability and dependability while the orange colour speaks to creativity and vibrancy.

He said the idea was inspired by the association executives and executed by members. “This we believe would improve our relevance and engagement with government supervising ministries and other sectorial groups, and also improve our level of engagement and ownership that the younger segment of professionals have; this is not to say it has not been so in the past, but it is a step to reinforcing our relevance and improve the way we engage with all stakeholders.”

Babaeko stressed that AAAN seeks to drive professionalism through the Advertising Academy, a key vehicle for capacity building. “Over time, we have been able to build a solid framework for the academy. We have put in place a strong curriculum, which was developed under several administrations. We have finalised the actual business plan for the academy later this year. We want it to be an entrepreneurial model, not just an arm of the association,” he said.

The president on the other hand solicited full support for the association from all quarters as they embark on the drive to kick off the academy.

“We realised that the pipeline that brings young talent to the association becomes more crucial if intend growth and survival of the association which is 40 decades. Hence the need to champion a curriculum that would meet up with the standard we require,” Babaeko added.

Speaking further on how four years of APCON chair absence poses serious threat to the industry and the entire country, Ndigbo said that the issue was systemic.

He said, “There is need for us to be more concerted in the way we lobby to achieve proper constitution of the council. No stone has been left unturned in terms of engaging the relevant stakeholders by the previous administration and the current one. We have been victim of a season. Except we have the inauguration and the constitution of the cabinet, with a minister supervising us, it will be very difficult to push the agenda of the APCON council forward.”

He added that the association”s support for APCON Ag. Registrar, Mrs, Ijedi Iyoha, had helped the council to meet minimal requirements for the practice. “We are looking at how to position APCON to be able to control the entry barriers into the profession especially online advertising where influencers take advantage to make unverified claims about products,” Odigbo said.


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