Admen Rush To Set Up Agencies

In a season where economic downturn and low patronage have pushed many agencies to the brink of extinction and the narratives on possible mergers and acquisitions have gained momentum, some admen are undeterred by the challenges, and have gone ahead to establish new agencies.

In the turn of the year, there have been a sudden increase in the number of marketing communications practitioners in Nigeria who have quit the comfort of their former agencies with the intention to set up shop.

Perhaps the most notable among them is Demola Olusunmade who until few months ago was Managing Director at BBDO West Africa, one of the top agencies in the country. Olusunmade resigned his top job at BBDO towards the end of 2015 to start Red Uhuru Concept which officially commenced operation in January 2016.

Another popular adman who resigned to set up shop is former Managing Director of EXP Marketing, Wole Olagundoye. Olagundoye who is the Vice President of Experiential Marketers Association of Nigeria recently established a new experiential Marketing shop called Outori Limited.

Apart from these two, there are more than a dozen others who have equally bid farewell to their former bosses to set up their own advertising businesses. Idiare Atimomo is one of them. The former Manager, Youth Segment of Etisalat Nigeria has co-founded the agency called Up In The Sky NG. the creative shop was founded January 2016 and Atimomo and his partner are now on the hunt for accounts.

Clement Omemu is another notable new entrant into the agency founders’ club. Omemu was until recently the Managing Director and Executive Creative Director of Rosabel Advertising. The experienced adman has said that his decision to start Black Sea Advertising is to further ventilate his artistic instinct and expand the creative landscape in the advertising industry.

Speaking in a recent interview Omemu criticized the industry for not displaying a standard that matches global expectation. He noted that the industry growth is slow. “Things are evolving and technologies are changing the ways things are done. Brand approach is changing too. I don’t think we are catching up globally in terms of output.

“There is a fast pace movement of trends and things are so fast that if you are not careful you will be lost.
Consumers are changing; lifestyles are changing, traditions also have changed, so you have to evolve with them. We used to wait for briefs when we engaged clients but now we don’t wait for briefs, we initiate briefs,” Omemu who has spent over two decades in the industry said recently.

Also in January Victor Oyarero, a former top staff of Noah’s Ark Communications unveiled Tangerine, a fully integrated marketing communication agency, “ that believe in the power of compelling narratives, simple stories that engage targeted consumers at Tangerine, simplicity is at our core.”

Oyarero, who also worked as an Investment Analyst at Bank PHB as well as SO&U Saatchi & Saatchi says Tangerine was established to be one of the recognized brand builders out of Africa by 2020. Another ex-staff who is now his own boss is John Usifo a former Copywriter at Verdant Zeal Communications has also bowed out to do his own agency business.

Some of the other popular names are Kemi Orimolade formerly with SO&U and Alosious Chuks. According to reliable industry sources, more admen are likely to quit their jobs to set up their own shops in the coming weeks and months of 2016.

While many have reasoned that setting up shop at a time of economic squeeze is not the best idea as the industry seems too saturated, others have disagreed, adding that younger agencies need to come on stream to give older agencies a run for their money.

Abolaji Alausa Executive Creative Director at Noah’s Ark told MARKETING EDGE that the downturn should not be a reason for practitioners to lose focus. “There are smarter ways to do the business. The agencies don’t have to sit around and wait for brief from clients, they have to adopt flexible approaches and become a source of solution to clients.”

Chris Ogunlowo a former Creativity Manager at DDB Lagos is now the Creative Director and Principal Partner at Kwirkly. Though the agency was set up over three years ago, it was only recently


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