2023 elections will shape advertising landscape – experts

By Felicia Nwosu

As professionals in the Out-of-Home advertising subsector look forward to expansion in the first quarter of the year with optimism, especially as the general elections gain momentum, there are strong indicators that the forthcoming general elections would shape the advertising landscape going forward.

Speaking with MARKETING EDGE in separate exclusive interviews, some members of the Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria (OAAN), who made projections on their business outlook for the quarter, expressed confidence that the forthcoming general elections are a pathway that will launch the new paradigm shift for business growth in the year.

Churchill Nwagwu, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Spread Out Media Ltd., a foremost out-of-home advertising agency, in his view, expressed the brighter side of the year and predicted that the sector would experience unprecedented growth.

“We expect that after the elections, economic activities will begin to open up again. Looking at the investment that have gone into the out-of-home from last year, there were some contractions in the economy, but we believe that the outcome of the elections will determine a lot from the second quarter of this year,” he said.

The seasoned marketing professional revealed that there is going to be a massive citizen participation in the election. He explained that, with transparency and fairness in the election, it will boost people’s confidence. This, he stated, will translate into a huge rate of turnover in the area of both investment and return on investment as well as help boost the economy in the OOH advertising subsector.

“We expect a better performance in 2023 compared to what we had last year. The adspend this year is likely going to shoot up, if everything comes out the way Nigerians are projecting.  A lot of promises are being made in the areas of putting more investment and infrastructure, solving the challenges of insecurity, and the positive projection of moving from being a consumption nation to a producing nation. If this happens, there is the likelihood that we are going to have an increase of over 35% in adspend, because the more there are activities in the production line, then it will translate into more activities in the marketing communication mix which will metamorphose into increment in the adspend. So we are most likely going to have an increase in adspend more than what we had last year,” he said.

Another leading professional, Tony Eguridu, General Manager at Michael Angelo Media Ltd, said various challenging forces in the economy have affected the Out-of-Home industry, especially the prices of diesel which has a great negative impact on the earnings of practitioners. The outdoor expert, however, expressed optimism towards the first quarter in respect to the forthcoming general elections.

“It is going to be in billions, I can’t put an amount to it but it is going to be in billions. The year is an election year, so a lot of money is going to be spent apart from the regular spend by clients in other sectors. The OOH is going to witness a lot of income from the advertising spend from politics, so probably after the election, we can then go back to normalcy,” he said.

Felix Ehikhuemen, the Managing Director of Airpower, on his part, said that the first quarter of 2023 looks gloomy as the general elections draw closer. Ehikhuemen averred that no promising business investor would invest in an unstable economy with so much uncertainties and anxieties in its political affairs.

“I think last year would be better than this year. We also have a calendar that will say that they are going to tribunal to determine all of it before hand-over date on May 29th. It means that the entire judiciary will be busy dealing with all the fallouts of the elections.

For example, in the month of January alone, two governorship candidates were removed by the action of the court. This drama will increase, and nobody can do anything in a threatened political economy.

“What everybody is doing is sit down and look. This year’s adspend will not match quarter one and two of last year. Also, even when the business comes, the industry has learnt enough not to sell political ads to politicians on credit,” he said.


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