Why agency business is in decline – Advertising guru, Omojafor

Advertising guru and chairman of STB-McCann, Sir Steve Omojofor has said that the advertising industry in Nigeria needs help from the veterans of the profession in order to survive it present decline.

He outlined the various reasons for this unfortunate trend and principal among them was the politization of APCON. “APCON hasn’t still taken its rightful place in the industry because of political entanglement. I wish we could pull APCON out of government funding because funding enables them to control us. Funding enables them to appoint our Chairpersons. To me, that is not the best. But I still strongly believe that the industry can fund APCON and make it independent so that when we talk, government will listen. Like they say, he who pays the piper dictates the tune. So they have continuously dictated the tune,” he said in an exclusive interview with MARKETING EDGE.

He also blamed the stunted growth of the industry to clients who set up advertising units within their operations hence rendering the original agencies redundant. “Clients are so happy to take our staff away and set up new mini agencies within their operations. Hence because they are running mini agencies, they use less and less of our services. That is not good for the industry. That is not good for the development of talents, that is not good for the kind of progress we expect in the industry, “he said.

He recalled with nostalgia his early days in the advertising industry when clients held practitioners in high esteem. He also added that the change of attitude from the clients’ side have largely been occasioned by the proliferation of advertising agencies and poor regulatory frame work. “Agencies were now setting up everywhere; some of them hardly trained enough to run agencies, some of them breaking away for no reason. So when clients discovered there is this mad rush and everyone is hungry, they hold us by the balls and do whatever they want to do,” Omojafor said.

Continuing, he said “now that the expatriates are returning to take over the manufacturing industries, hopefully, sanity may return to the industry. But while that is happening, we in the industry must be ready to match the force with which the clients will want to operate because if we remain the way we are, and are not able to offer value, good substance and the clients understanding of the business, we will just continue to slide and slide. I believe the sliding can be captured at some point but it takes the collective will and effort of everybody who still believes in this industry, who still has respect for the practice to come together and let us rebuild it.


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