AAAN partners UN-stereotype Alliance to dismantle harmful stereotypes in local ad industry

By Felicia Nwosu

In a bid to build an advertising ecosystem devoid of gender bias and harmful stereotype, among its Practitioners, the Association of advertising Agencies of Nigeria, AAAN, has entered into a strategic partnership to launch the Nigeria National Chapter of the UNstereotype Alliance, convened by UN-women to dismantle harmful stereotypes across local advertising industry.

Steve Babaeko, the Creative Officer, X3M Ideas, and President, Association ofAdvertising Agencies of  Nigeria, AAAN, shared this in his social media platform where he said:

“Nigeria is the arrowhead of the exciting African creative industry. We carry a lot of power in the areas of music, film,advertising and popular culture as a whole. With that power comes the responsibility to lead from the front and open the conversation around closing gender gaps and also change the narrative of how women are portrayed in advertising. Together we will work to dismantle harmful stereotypes across the local advertising industry.

Also sharing the remarkable news with MARKETING EDGE in an exclusive interview, the Sectoral leadernoted it as a milestone that he is really proud of.

“One of the milestones that I am really proud of is the partnership with the UN women on UNstereotype alliance. AAAN was listed as a partner with the @unsteroetype Alliance, X3M Ideas also subscribed as well, but we also brought AAAN in as an institutional partner for the Nigerian Chapter.

The Ace creative officer argued that  stereotyping women is alien to  African culture, pointing out instances where African women have tremendously recorded great feats among their male counterparts. The creative guru recalled personalities such as the late Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, Queen Amina of Zaria, the Aba women who  led a demonstration to protest against undue taxes, known as the Aba women riot today, and many others to showcase that Africa over time, recognises the important roles  women play in the socio-economic development of of the continent.

“I don’t think that it is a cultural problem because if we say it is a cultural problem, we are already taking it as a yes that Africans have bias towards women. As a matter of fact, if you check back to the history of Africa, I am sure the colonial powers will like to make you feel like African has no history, which is a fallacy of its own, but if you check back to our track record. This is the continent where women have been occupying strategic and important positions since Adam was a small boy.

The X3M Ideas boss revealed that changing such perception is one of the goals he sets out to achieve in his role as AAAN president and CEO of X3M Ideas.  He emphasised the urgent need for people from all walks of life to boldly stand up in raising their voices against inequality adding that eradication of such strengthens economies and builds stable, resilient societies that give all individuals, including girls and women the opportunity to fulfill their potential.

“The whole essence of @unsteroetype alliance is: ending the negative stereotyping  of women in advertising. It is about time that we stopped doing that. In the past you see the role of women is not as rounded as it should be. Those are some of the things that we are hoping to correct and it was a good thing that we partnered with @unsteroetype alliance to be able to work as a way of  going forward in Nigeria.

His words: “One thing I can tell you is that part of my corner piece agenda as President of AAAN is to make sure we do more gender-balancing in the operation of our association. “We came with a deliberate agenda to make sure that we create equity in that space, by allowing model women to ascend to that leadership position in the advertising industry. For example, the current director for AAAN is the first woman to assume that position in 50 years history of the association. We have pushed the number of women on the board of AAAN to increase the slot for women.”


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