Former AAAN president advocates resuscitation of HASG 

A former president of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN), Rufai Ladipo has advocated for the resuscitation of machinery of the now moribund Heads of Advertising Sectorial Groups (HASG) to become a formidable force in championing cause of the advertising industry in Nigeria.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with MARKETING EDGE in Lagos, Ladipo, who is Managing Director/CEO of Agile Communications Limited said frontline IMC company operators in various sectorial groups needed to forge a common front using tool of the HASG in addressing the various challenges presently bedeviling the industry.

According to him, the three traditional arms of the advertising industry namely AAAN, OAAN and MIPAN presently do not seem to have a rallying point as industry gatekeepers, a situation,  he said had opened the doors for “political jobbers”  to infiltrate the industry.

Ladipo, lamenting over what he called the present sorry state of the industry, noted that the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) was founded constitutionally through an act of parliament to regulate the industry but regrettably the rank of the industry had been largely infiltrated by politicians resulting in the watering down of the council of APCON.

“Today the centre can no longer hold. The collective interest tying us together is either weakened or totally gone leaving a window of opportunity for politicians to water down APCON, infiltrate its council and fill it up with political jobbers.

“There is no Council and the industry is being “regulated” by civil servants under the civil service code. Yes, AAAN is fighting vigorously to change the situation, but other sectorial groups must have the same zeal for this struggle to make a dent,” he said.

He stated further that over a period of the past for decades, the AAAN had championed the cause of the advertising business in Nigeria but noted that despite the fact that leadership of the association had changed hand over time, the industry, on a broader scale, may not have met expectations in certain areas such that could benefit the entire industry.

In his words: “Of all the sectoral groups that constitute the industry, AAAN had played a leading role that appears to be eroding. We need to step up the game. We must sustain the interest of the current and future generation if we are to stand the test of time.”

On what must be done differently to further advance course of the industry, the agency boss suggested that stakeholders must come to a round table and re-examine such controversial industry issues as among other things, determination of  pitch fees, and  attaining greater relevance in government and the public sector as stakeholders in the Nigerian project.


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