Heads of Advertising Sectoral Groups (HASG) has told the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, that Nigeria’s advertising sector can only grow organically and not through legislative fiat.
HASG was reacting to Mohammed’s announcement that a N100,000 fine would be levied on advertisements placed on foreign-owned media channels and content produced abroad.
The HASG comprising the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN), Experiential Marketers Association of Nigeria (EXMAN), Media Independent Association of Nigeria (MIPAN), Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria (OAAN) and the Advertisers Association of Nigeria (ADVAN) said while his arguments have some merits, he was going about it the wrong way.
The Group further noted that the music and movie industries were allowed to grow organically and not through legislative fiat.
The same, they said, should apply to advertising.
The statement jointly signed by Steve Babaeko (AAAN), Bunmi Adeniba (ADVAN), Femi Adelusi (MIPAN), Emmanuel Ajufo (OAAN), Sa’am Ibrahim (BON) and Tade Adekunle (EXMAN) also told Mohammed that advertisers put their money where there are eyeballs.
It read in part: “First, it is important that the Minister understand that advertisers put their advertising investment where Nigerians’ eyeballs are. The media decisions are driven by the consumers’ interest, passion, inspiration and aspirations.
“CNN and other international news channels are watched by Nigerians locally and internationally; the world is now a global village, and Nigerians do not only live within our physical boundaries.
“Nigeria based news channels and contents developed locally are also consumed across many countries beyond our borders, with no special fines and levies imposed on companies who place adverts within them.
“While there are some merits in the bid to encourage and support local production of contents in a bid to support the local industries, the Minister must understand that there has to be allowed to develop organically.
“Also, many leading Advertisers are multinational companies who rationally seek to explore economies of scale in the production of materials, negotiation costs and broadcast of their contents which run across many countries. Even with this said, empirical information and trended data shows clearly that investment on local broadcast stations still outweighs that of foreign channels.
“There are many areas where the government can support the industry to grow. This includes funding in technical infrastructure, content development grants, and investment in tools of measurement of advertising effectiveness & efficiency etc. With the proper support for the marketing communication industry, content development. Local media investment and media infrastructural development will grow and improve organically.
“The Nigerian music and entertainment industry and the movie industry did not emerge and become global by forced legislative fiats, but via organic growth and creativity of the practitioners. Production and content development capabilities are improving daily as technology and funding improve. These are the areas of support required for the local players and the production industry to emerge and lead the world.
“The HASG as a body made up of Advertisers: Advertising Agencies, Media Agencies, Marketing Activation Agencies, Out-of-home Media Agencies and Broadcasting Company groups, would like the Minister to engage the industry players and practitioners more and explore collaboration on issues like this before making these pronouncements that can significantly impact the industry.
“Our sectoral Group comprises integrated marketing communications professionals, and we should be engaged and consulted in matters relating to our industry as it is done with other professional sectoral bodies in Nigeria. We will continue to reach out and be available to support the Ministry of Information and Culture and its regulator, the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), in moving the marketing communications industry in Nigeria forward.
“Finally, we strongly appeal to the Ministry as well as the National Assembly, to engage and involve the professional practitioners of the various sectors of the marketing communications industry in the conversations on policies at the point of ideation, formulation and development of these policies. This is the best pathway to progressive and implementable legislation of policies and initiatives that will improve the well-being of the industry and Nigerians.
“The ministry and the communication industry in Nigerian can benefit more from working together and in addressing the key issues concerning the development of marketing, advertising and sponsorships in Nigeria when the capability and expertise of the professional players are leveraged.”