Outdoor advertising now beyond the reach of new brands – AAAN’s chief

In the Nigerian advertising space, especially in Lagos, billboard adverts may soon be beyond the reach of most new and local business ventures and consequently stall the growth of such businesses. This is due to the high cost of mounting a billboard as well as the various taxes and permits needed to do this without running foul of the law.

This fear was expressed by the president of the Advertising Agencies Association of Nigeria (AAAN), Mr. Kayode Oluwasona, saying : “A few weeks ago, there was the poster awards organised by the Outdoor Advertising Association on Nigeria (OAAN) and this issue came up at the seminar that preceded the award ceremony and I was one of panelists. My contribution that day was that outdoor, the way it is in Nigeria, is fast out pricing itself. That is, it is now beyond the reach of upcoming brands, Nigerian brands. For instance, if I want make a body cream or hair pomade, I can’t access the outdoor advertising.”

In April this year, the Lagos State Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Samuel Babatunde Adejare said that the Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA) had achieved 55 percent cleanup (dismounting)on major and minor roads around the Lagos metropolis. This was the way government had set out to regulate and control outdoor advertising and signage displays in Lagos State.

While Oluwasona agreed that the government through the agency, LASAA had a noble intention in the banning the mounting of certain billboards, he also revealed that there is the general belief that it might have been overdone. He added : “It is like because you want to remove cancer, you cut off the whole breast and the woman looks into the mirror and wonders if she is still a woman and begins to look for plastic surgery.

“You cannot take it away that Lagos looks cleaner now than 10, 15 years ago when there was no order. Billboards of different shapes and sizes and’ health’ – some are rickety, wobbly, rusty, etc – would be placed everywhere. You would see beer ads in front of churches. You would see condom ads in front of primary schools. These were things that were not supposed to be,” he added.

However, one of the agreements reached at that forum was that stakeholders should put heads together to fathom a way forward. “There was full representation of all these stakeholders at that particular event. We can only hope that those involved organise the forum very quickly and look for solution,” Oluwasona said.


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