IMC expert advocates uniform credit system to tackle industry debts

An integrated marketing communications industry expert, Izuchukwu Arinze, has advocated for the introduction of a uniform credit system across all sectors of the Nigeria’s IMC industry, so as to effectively address the lingering debts and payment controversies bedeviling the industry.

Arinze, who is Managing Partner and Project consultant at Mediamark Limited, opined the industry debt issues would require that a uniformed credit system policy be put in place to ensure all debts are settled within a uniform period of 120 days across all sectors.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with MARKETING EDGE in Lagos, the public relations technocrat maintained that there was nothing seriously wrong with the 120 days credit policy brought by the multinationals, insisting that the policy be made to spread uniformly in all sector of the industry.

Every advanced economy is driven by credit, but it becomes a problem where an aspect of the economy, especially the controller of the economy, is the only one that has access to credit.”

He added: “If the economy is run on a uniform credit system, where agencies and media houses can collect their money after 120 days, then it flows down and every player will know and understand.”

He suggested also that regulatory institutions in the industry should adopt a deliberate measure that would ensure the issue of nonpayment of pitch fees and other remunerations to agencies and consultants was addressed with a lasting solution.

“Today, because the competition in the industry is stiff, people are willing to pitch without getting reimbursed for their expenses. I think it is something that should be regulated. Any organisation that calls for a pitch must pay a certain reimbursement of what is spent,” he said.

On the influx of foreign businesses into Nigeria’s sphere of the IMC industry, the astute public relations practitioner observed that the development was not entirely negative, but suggested rather that allowances should be created such that local content inputs are allowed in every foreign business interests in Nigeria.

Responding to questions as to the outlook of PR and IMC industry in Nigeria, Arinze observed that two basic trends were common to the industry; one being that technology was bringing about disruptions and two, innovations resulting in growth in the industry.

“I want to see an industry that is better regulated; I want to see an industry that is operating with the purpose of making a contribution to the economy and growth of Nigeria; I want to see an industry where people will focus on their core competences and collectively help the industry to move forward,” he stressed.

He highlighted on the various challenges affecting growth and development of the industry to include among other things low level of literacy in the areas of public relations and the loose regulatory environment which allows infiltration of quacks into the practice.


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