Admen differ over proliferation of advertising agencies

The proliferation of advertising agencies in Nigeria has stirred mixed reactions amongst practitioners in the Integrated Marketing Communications industry in the country.

While some of them argued that it was a welcome development provided that clients get the best services they desire, others objected that the proliferation was undermining creativity and hindering growth.

The Managing Director, X3M Ideas Group, Mr. Steve Babaeko, said that the proliferation of advertising agencies in the face of the dwindling economic realities in Nigeria was not the right way to go. He pointed out that it was ironic that while the number of advertising agencies are on the rise daily, the clients that they are jostling to work for are reducing by the day.

“I think that proliferation on its own is not necessarily a bad thing because it means that more people have the opportunity to come and show us what they can do. But when proliferation becomes proliferation for proliferation sake that is where we have a problem.

“And that is where we are now. It flies in  the face of economic reality that we have more agencies opening shops everyday but even the clients that we are all jostling to work for; they are reducing. They are closing factories. So if you are now opening your agency today, which client do you want to work for?”

“lt makes sense in the face of economy realities for agencies to merge; come together and become a bigger platform with a bigger voice, with bigger muscle and bigger strength, so that is what I will recommend”.

Managing Director, TreeWater Retreats Limited, Mrs. Julia Oku Jacks, agreed with Babaeko. She stressed that it was paramount for advertising agencies to cooperate and rely on each other for strength. Jacks claimed that Nigerian advertising agencies have to become stronger agencies through effective collaboration to withstand competition globally.

According to the former co-founder of SO&U Advertising, “I think measures are important but you have to look at everything on a case by case bases and you look at where, maybe you are lacking in some strength, where you can leverage on each other strength and then become a stronger agency.”

Former Marketing Services Director of Nestle Foods Nigeria, Mrs. Iquo Ukoh, said the crave for money and prestige as the Managing Director of an agency are some of the reasons why advertising agencies are opening shops every day. She stressed that such experience may not last long because big brands love to work with agencies with affiliations, depicting the need for collaboration amongst them.

“Having little shops here and there is not giving agencies the leverage that they need to pitch to big clients. We live in a world of collaboration, the more you collaborate with your competencies the better because partnerships work”.

Managing Director, Ladybird Limited, Mrs. Bunmi Oke, has a slightly different opinion, as she believes that the proliferation of advertising agencies is not the problem because the market is diverse. According to her, agencies have the opportunity to choose which segment of the market to service.

She added that what is important is the ability for agencies to meet the desires of their clients should be the paramount issue at play.

“I believe that everything in life is in phases. There is a time when you consolidate, there is a time when you cooperate, there is a time when you isolate and there is a time when you reposition and re-strategize”.

”I think it is a reflection of the time and season. I don’t think that you should generalize that proliferation is bad, you have to watch how the waves go, you have big waves, you have small waves and how we tackle it by ourselves is different”.

“Let’s just take it as a welcome development as long as we are creating the jobs and the services. We have clients that are happy and they are also building the economy”.

Her sentiment was also shared by the Managing Director, DKK Nigeria, Mrs. Temitope Jemerigbe, who said that proliferation of advertising agencies was not having an adverse effect on the industry.

Jemerigbe noted that everyone needs the services of advertising agencies, noting that if ad agencies open up shops to meet such demands, it was a welcome development.







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