Tequila boss tasks advertisers on political campaigns


A top player in the Nigeria marketing industry and Chairman of Tequila Group Limited, George Thorpe has urged advertisers to pay more attention to political and electioneering segments of advertising business.

He made this call in an exclusive interview with Marketing Edge as he expressed his displeasure over the failure of advertising industry to come up with a compendium of how much politicians spent on adverts at the last political campaigns in Nigeria.

He said, “I have told my colleagues in advertising that we have to pay more attention to how that sector segments. Political, electioneering segment can no longer be neglected. It is not just presidential, there is governorship, there is senatorial, all of them require marketing communications.”

According to Thorpe the quantity and quality of advertisement during the recent election tells me that the industry has a capacity that was not easily identified until we saw what was coming out.

He described as absurd that most of the advertisements made by politicians during the campaign were not from advertisers but hot shops and production houses while the real professionals could do just a little.

“This is the time they need to get involved in a direct marketing of politicians and the brands of politics that the country requires. I understand that most of it did not come from agencies, there were a lot of hot shops but whether they were hot shops or agencies or even production houses, if you look at the number of advertising materials by the candidates, especially the presidential election, in particular APC versus PDP in press, radio, television, billboards, I am amazed, in fact I regret that nobody has taken it to the best of my knowledge to make a compendium of what happened during the election,” Thorpe said.

He explained that no country in Africa, including South Africa had done so much in terms of political advertisement like Nigeria did a few months ago, adding “Except in the US, I can say no African nation has done what Nigeria did. Somebody needs to put together a report that will be for posterity. I don’t think there is anywhere even in South Africa that the intensity and the variety with which advertising was done during the last election in Nigeria was matched in Africa.

“If a report on adverts spent is put together in Nigeria and if it is based on cross media rates, using the media stations adverts rates. By the time you grossed up total number of advertising spent, I know it was going to be huge,” he stated.

He challenged brand managers to create new thinking around political adverts, saying that advertising industry has grown and can only craven further independent of brand management.

“I think we can look at what happened to us a couple of months ago and be very proud of ourselves. What I saw during our election could only be compared to what happened in America. That is the only place where there is political advertising during campaign. Ours was good and it is something we can be very proud of,” he said.



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