ADVAN’s agenda is to make Nigeria centre of gravity-Okeme

The focus of the new executives of the Advertisers Association of Nigeria, ADVAN is to make the country the centre of gravity for advertising in Africa.

The new President of the association who is also the Director of Brand Building, Unilever Nigeria Plc, Mr. David Okeme said this in a chat with journalists shortly after he was elected at the ADVAN’s Annual General Meeting on Friday.

He said, “In terms of focus, I think the EXCO will shift the focus a bit and that shift will be moving from being a pressure group to an enabler of growth in the industry. There is a Nigeria market agenda that we have and we are going to leverage on it. Nigeria is the biggest economy in Africa and when you talk about advertising platform, people tend to go south of the continent but this EXCO will work to make Nigeria the centre of gravity in advertising. These are real big ambitions and we will mobilise our partners to make this happen.”

Okeme lamented that about a million dollars is spent every year in terms of advertising, adding, “that is a very big investment but if you look at the kind of returns that we get, it shows that growth among our members is between zero and five per cent.

According to him, with the high level of investment that goes into advertising, the advertisers are not getting a level of growth that they expect. “So one of the things that ADVAN we look into is how to leverage on the industry such that we can build greater efficiency in terms of advertising returns,” he said.

While commending the immediate past executive, led by Kola Oyeyemi, the General Manager; Consumer Marketing at MTN, Okeme stated that the new administration would create an engine on how to drive consumer and include them in the industry. “We will do something on consumer inclusion. There are still lot of Nigerians who are in rural areas who are still not getting the information that we are churning out. We will think of how to unlock that and how to ensure that we bring new people into this category,” he said.

He emphasised on the rising technology in the advertising industry, describing it as a tool and the needed enabler that the new executives would pull to grow at a faster rate. “We have to grow at the faster rate so that the level of investment in advertising will be more and that’s how we can quickly become more mature. This is our agenda for this executive committee that is being sworn in today. And the enabler of that project will be technological advertising. We need to become better in understanding our consumers in terms of understanding their media consumption habit and how to leverage on that to reach them and become effective,” he said.

Another enabler, according to Okeme is how to build the capability and capacity of players in the industry, adding, “ ADVAN will facilitate training programmes and knowledge based activities so that he entire value chain from creative agencies to production agencies through advertisers and advertising platforms are able to get capability to build efficiency. It’s going to be win-win scenario where all the key players will be involved to be part of that change.


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