Day 1: ARCON National Advertising Conference fireside chat identifies myriad of challenges plaguing IMC sector

By Zion Rufus

Marking the largest gathering of advertising practitioners and all critical stakeholders in the Nigerian Integrated Marketing Communications Industry in Nigeria, the National Advertising Conference 2023, organized by the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria yesterday identified myriads of issues and challenges bedeviling the Nigerian marketing and advertising ecosystem with unanimous views on need for collaborative and all-inclusive action.

The fireside chat initiative held at the open terrace of John Wood Hotel By Bolton in the Wuse area of FCT, Abuja featured prominent practitioners and players like Otunba Seni Adetu, Chairman/Group CEO of Ogilvy Nigeria Limited/Algorithm Media Limited, Lolu Akinwunmi, Group CEO of Prima Garnet Africa Nigeria, and Ify Onukwuba, Managing Director of Nigeria Advertising Service.

This kickoff session, hosted by EXMAN President Tolulope Medebem, delved into critical issues affecting the advertising industry’s growth in Nigeria under the theme “Marketing Communication as an Enabler for National Growth”.

During the fireside conversation, Seni Adetu addressed the fragmentation plaguing the Nigerian advertising industry, asserting that its current structure is predisposed to chaos unless significant changes occur.

“Unfortunately, our industry is set up for failure, and it’s because we are too fragmented,” he stated, pinpointing the absence of scale as a critical flaw.

Reflecting on a conversation in South Africa, Adetu recounted a suggestion that Nigeria should ideally have no more than 10 advertising agencies for optimal functioning. However, the current scenario witnesses over 100 registered agencies, exacerbating coordination challenges, confusing clients, and leading to resource duplication.

Outlining the pitfalls of a fragmented advertising model which includes coordination issues, diluted brand messaging, client confusion, resource duplication, and diminished agency competitiveness, the Algorithm Media CEO urged the industry to prioritize consolidation.

In his closing remarks, Seni Adetu highlighted the importance of consolidation for the industry’s collective strength and growth as he drew parallels with unions and emphasized the need for scale to foster industry growth.

He said “Consolidation is the most powerful way to have a voice in anything that you do.”

The conference, set against the backdrop of these critical discussions, promises to be an enlightening experience, addressing challenges and envisioning a more cohesive future for Nigeria’s advertising landscape.

ARCON’s Director General, Olalekan Fadolapo who welcomed industry professionals also affirmed the conference’s mission to rectify industry shortcomings and secure a prominent role for advertising professionals in Nigeria.


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