ARCON bridges gap between academia and advertising industry

By Seun Johnson

The second annual colloquium of Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) has offered a veritable platform to foster a robust collaboration between academia and the industry.

Held on Thursday 27 June, in Lagos, with the theme: Harnessing Emerging Technologies For Sustainable Advertising Education and Professional Excellence in Nigeria, the colloquium explored how cutting-edge technologies can be leveraged to enhance advertising education and professional standards.

Largely attended by marketing experts, AI specialists, intellectual giants and stakeholders in the advertising industry, the one-day event was marked with insightful industry conversations, presentation of maiden edition of ARCON Journal of Advertising and Marketing Communications and Creative advertising pitch competition by tertiary institutions.

While giving his welcome address, the Director General of ARCON, Dr. Lekan Fadolapo stated that any industry that does not bridge the gap between the town and gown will face crises.
According to him, the collaboration between the two is essential, to ensure that academics and professionals operate on the same level which is a necessity for an industry facing numerous challenges.

“Staying ahead in the industry demands constant adaptation and learning. There is a need for academics and professionals to collaborate closely to stay updated with the latest advancements and innovations in this rapidly evolving field.

“The uncommon challenges in the industry are expected to be conversed, harnessed and put to mutual benefits. There are always additional ideas and trends to learn and to share in our Industry,” the DG stated.

Also giving his keynote address, Chairman of the Advertising Industry Colloquium and Journal Committee, Professor Rotimi Olatunji explained that since the first industrial revolution, scientific and technological innovations have been major drivers of human development.

“In today’s digital era, there is need to synergize with marketing communications industry and academics. The goal is to produce graduates who will hit the ground running and be relevant in the industry. This era is defined by disruptive digital technologies and computational power,” he said.

Officially declaring the programme open, the Nigerian Minister of Information and Orientation, Alhaji Mohammed Idris admitted that the objective of the colloquium aligns with president Bola Tinubu’s renewed hope agenda.

He said: “The objectives of this colloquium are crucial. They aim to foster interaction between academia and the industry, examining current issues on marketing communications, sensitizing students and other academics to the demands of a digitized era, and discussing trends in creative advertising, media campaign, digital advertising and regulations.

“These efforts are fundemental to driving the renewed hope agenda which seeks to empower our youths, create jobs and ensure economically sustainable growth. As we embark on this journey today, I encourage all participants to engage actively, share insights and collaborate towards a more dynamic and sustainable advertising industry in Nigeria.”

The chairman of the occasion, Professor Umar Pate, Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Kashere, noted that the event offers unique opportunities for the fusion of town and gown, critically explore issues and strategies for harnessing emerging technologies for sustainable advertising education and professional excellence in Nigeria.

While praising the ARCON DG for providing opportunity for the interactive engagement, Pate promised to key into the objective of the colloquium and embrace a collaboration with the industry.

Also in his goodwill message, Femi Adelusi, former President of Media Independent Practitioners Association of Nigeria (MIPAN), stated that, as professional, there is a need to leverage this collaboration for a win-win situation.

The Group Managing Director of BrandEye Media revealed that ARCON organizes two events annually – Colloquium and Conference, that are quite profound and impactful.

On her part, Mrs. Tolulope Medebem, the Experiential Marketing Association of Nigeria (EXMAN) president stressed that orientation about marketing communications needs to change.

“We are here because we are committed to this course. Part of our commitment at EXMAN is to offer internship and job for graduates in the industry,” she revealed.

Kenny Ogungbe, who represented the Broadcasting Organization of Nigeria (BON), congratulated ARCON DG for putting the programme together. He said: “In broadcasting, we believe in training and retraining and that’s why this programme is very important.”

Also speaking at the event, Jibe Ologeh, former vice president of the Electronic media Content Owners Association of Nigeria (ECOAN) noted that the important occasion provides an opportunity to interface with stakeholders, imploring students in the profession to keep in touch for employment after their graduation.

While stressing the importance of students interfacing with the industry, Mrs. Brenda Nwagwu, Vice President of MIPAN rolled out the benefits available in the association for students

On his part, Dr. Ahmed Tijani, Chairman of Independent Broadcasting Association of Nigeria described the event as a lifetime opportunity to address the teething issue confronting the industry. He emphasized the significance of bringing together key stakeholders to deliberate and profer a lasting solution to the challenges bedevilling the industry.

While the keynote speaker for the event was unavoidably absent, panelists who dissected the topic, Harnessing Emerging Technologies for Sustainable Advertising Education and Professional Excellence agreed that technology has become the driving force for sustaining growth in the industry.

According to Professor Abigail Ndisika Ogwezzy of the Department of Mass Communications, University of Lagos,
educational programmes are increasingly incorporating AI-driven tools to teach students how to leverage data for strategic decision-making in marketing campaigns.

Ogwezzy made this known while speaking on the emerging technologies and 21st Century Advertising/Integrated Marketing Communication Education in Nigeria.

Also making a presentation on emerging technology and excellence in Out-of-Home practice and businesses in Nigeria, Engr. Dozie Mbanefo, MD, New Crystal Communications revealed that technology is driving innovation, efficiency, and effectiveness in the industry in several ways.

On his part, Mr. John Ugbe, Managing Director, Multi-choice Nigeria, while speaking to theme of the event, maintained that as the advertising landscape evolves, regulators and industry stakeholders must address the challenges faced by the industry to ensure fair practices and protect consumer interests.

Also sharing his views on the topic, Mr. Tunji Adeyinka, GMD, Republicom Group submitted that technologies enable businesses to deliver highly personalized consumer experiences, driving engagement, satisfaction, and loyalty.

By leveraging big data, AI, IoT, and other advanced technologies, Adeyinka noted, companies can better understand their customers and tailor their offerings to meet individual needs.

One of the highlights of the occasion was the pitch competition among the representatives of universities that staged creative presentations on the dangers of drug abuse in Nigeria. The institutions that made the pitch presentation included University of Ilorin, Covenant University, Lagos State University, Ebonyi State University, Rivers State University, Nile University and Federal University of Kashere.

Covenant University, which titled its  presentation as Social Behavioural Change Campaign, won the competition and went home with a grand prize of one million naira.

The event came to its climax with the Public presentation of the maiden edition of ARCON Journal of Advertising and Marketing  Communications (AJAMC).


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


    No comments found.