Ikechi Odigbo set to emerge AAAN President as Steve Babaeko guns for VP

After three years in the saddle, Kayode Oluwashona, President of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN) has decided against seeking a fresh tenure, leaving the door open for a new AAAN President to emerge.

The decision of who will lead the association for at least another three years will be made at the on-going 2018 Annual General Meeting of the association, holding at the Park Inn by Radisson, Abeokuta in Ogun State. And the industry looks to be geared up for the impending change.

Mr. Ikechi Odigbo, the incumbent Vice President of AAAN, is in pole position to become the new President of the association. Mr. Odigbo who is the Managing Director of DDB Lagos, one of the biggest advertising agencies in Nigeria, is contesting unopposed for the Presidency and baring any unforeseeable hitches will merge tomorrow as the new leader of the association.

Also, Steve Babaeko, Group CEO of X3M Group, and current Publicity Secretary of AAAN is hoping to take a step up to become the new Vice President of the association. Unlike Odigbo, Babaeko he will need to shake off competition from another contestant, Yomi Benson, Managing Director, Culture Communicaions.

Speaking about his plans for the association, Mr .Odigbo said if elected he plans to make the association more vibrant and performance driven. He told MARKETING EDGE recently that his tenure would focus on improving the level of professionalism in the association and also ensuring that AAAN gains more prestige in the Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) industry.

“A boost in performance, professionalism and prestige are the three dimensions my administration will use in navigating the association to an enviable height.
“Apart from the above, if elected, my administration will ensure that the long awaited advertising academy will be launched and become fully operational during my tenure in office” Odigbo said.The take-off of the academy has suffered many delays and postponement.

The project came close to take-off point during Kelechi Nwosu’s tenure. A registrar was appointed in readiness for the commencement of the academy, but nothing has been heard ever since.

Speaking Outgoing President, Mr. Oluwasona also took sometimes to reflect on his three year tenure, saying that he was leaving the association better than he met it. He also added that he has been able to make the association more prominent.

But clearly, the highpoint of Oluwasona’s stewardship was his ability to revive the annual Lagos Advertising Ideas Festival (LAIF), which over the years had lost some glamour and competitiveness. He was able to do that by reshuffling the LAIF management board and appointing Mr. Babaeko as President of the new board.

Though Mr. Oluwasona is constitutionally allowed to seek re-election but he has chosen not to. “I realized that indeed the foundation has been laid. I rather am like Nelson Mandela. I will rather be a Zinedine Zidane. When the ovation is loudest, they left, they quit, that is what I am doing and the ovation right now is very loud, the foundation has been laid.

“I will just ask that they continue with what we have started. Continue it and milk it to the advantage of everybody not selfishly.”


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