Admen lament weak performance in half year assessment

By Daniel Eteghe

Advertising practitioners have expressed divergent views over the performance of the advertising industry in Nigeria in the first half of 2018.

While some of them argued that there has been some level of stability as more clients were beginning to spend more on marketing, others stressed that the industry was yet to overcome the impact of the recessionary period.

The Managing Director, DDB Lagos, Mr. Ikechi Odigbo, said that the advertising industry is still bedevilled with a myriad of challenges.

Odigbo who doubles as the President of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN), noted even though the country had come out of recession, the industry was still grappling to pick up, adding that the late passage of the 2018 budget had further slowed down businesses in the sector.

According to him, government should assist the industry by providing adequate infrastructures as well as create policies that will boost confidence in the business community as these steps would encourage more clients to increase their advertising spend.

“It has being a very difficult period for our member agencies as well as the business community. One of the things that we have said about ourselves as advertising professionals and indeed Nigerian businesses is that we have a certain tenacity and creativity to be able to survive under the most difficult circumstances,” Odigbo said.

“A lot of people have moved on and they are not really moaning about the economy, but they are looking for creative ways to diversity their revenue stream and to a large extend, I believe that this has been good for businesses. But we need more support, more infrastructural support and a greater boost to the confidence in the business community in order to achieve greater economic activity.”

However, Managing Director DiJo Communications, Chief Innocent Oboh, is not so impressed with the performance of the industry so far, but he affirmed that the 2018 FIFA World Cup and coming elections have provided incentives for marketing activities.

Oboh stressed that there has not been any significant change in the advertising industry when compared to the first half of 2017. “Nothing much has changed in the advertising industry. Naturally, you will expect that with the World Cup here, it is going to be very competitive, you are going to see all the bill board spaces full, you are going to see a lot of activations, you are going to see a lot of media spend, you are going to see a lot of creative work but that has not really happened.”

Meanwhile, the Managing Director, Etu Odi Communications, Mr. Ozuma Okoye, said the advertising industry has still not recovered from any stretch of imagination.

Okoye noted that the post recessionary era has not trickle down to meaningful reality in terms of advertising spend, stressing that there has been a bit of improvement in the digital spend.

“There has been quite a lot going on within the digital space, but the traditional revenue sources are not as buoyant but they are certain other revenue stream that we had to tap into it.

On his part, the Managing Director, 141 Worldwide Limited, Mr. Lampe Omoyele, debunked the view that the advertising industry was still going through tough times.

Omoyele pointed out that the first half of 2018 was far better than that of 2017 as there has been a definite improvement in terms of advertising spend.

According to him, the level of activities in the industry has also increased because the economy has shown a certain degree of stability.

In his words: “In terms of comparing it with the first half of last year, I will say that this year has shown improvement. The delay in the signing of the budget may have slowed down the growth that the economy could have had, so the growth that we expected in advertising could have been higher if the budget had been signed on time because as we know, government is the biggest spender in terms of what happens in the larger economy.”

“But the activities has gone on because non-governmental organisations and the private sector have continued to be active so that has kind of mitigated the delay in signing of the budget in some ways.”

Speaking in the same vein, former AAAN President Mr. Kayode Oluwasona, said that there has been stability in the advertising industry in the last six months.

Oluwasona pointed out that practitioners are now doing better businesses because most agencies have adjusted their operational system.

“We have encouraged them, part of the things I can say that I try to do is to make our people see business as business. Let’s change our business operating system and some of our members have adopted that, they are cutting the waste, they are adjusting their models, and I think that, that is beginning to pay off; so they are healthier now and better,” he noted.


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