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Challenging times: AAAN need firm leaders, as members go the polls

Thursday, this week, the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria, AAAN members will go the polls to elect new members who will pilot the affairs of the creative agency for the next two years.

This follows the end of the tenure of Ikechi Odibo-led executive who took over from Kayode Oluwasona who governed the body as president for two years ending 2018.

There is no doubt the creative body must be deep and  profound in determining  who takes over the helm of  affairs of the 47 years old body considering the deepening dynamics in the environment which have affected the industry.

In all ramifications, the present dynamic environment demands that credible, youthful-thinking, tech-savvy and active leaders are elected at either federal, state or association levels to take such institutions to the next level.

Situations confronting the world and businesses, presently defined by technology and now Covid-19 make it more imperative for countries, companies and associations to de-emphasis emotions in selection of leaders to pilot their affairs.

For the creative agency, it is facing daunting tasks and it needs forward-looking, and focused leaders to tackle them.

First, Nigeria’s Integrated Marketing Communication industry is relying on the Association to lead the industry in negotiating and convincing Buhari administration to re-constitute the board of Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria, APCON.

The absence of the APCON board in the last five years has not allowed the advertising apex body to function at full capacity and this has cold implications for the advertising industry  valued at about N150 billion.

Statutorily, AAAN has the largest number of 10 members in the 21 board membership of APCON. Though, out of the 10, it has ceded one each to OAAN and MIPAN respectively.

The present economic situation occasioned by the pandemic is also not favourable to many sectors including marketing communication industry. This is in addition to the heavy burden placed on the industry by the difficult operating environment occasioned by slow economic growth at 2.27%, marketing communication budget cut, multiple taxation, delayed payment by clients and competition.

Therefore, foremost association like AAAN needs leaders who can create strategies to galvanise its members and clients on how to cushion the effects of the economic challenges.

Fortunately one of the vibrant personalities in the industry, Steve Babaeko, CEO of X3M Ideas is stepping forward to lead the association as he promised to create vibrancy in the industry.

Steve who is the vice president to Ikechi Odibo is  promising to ensure the association is more visible to the government and in the lives of its fellow practitioners, especially when it comes to protecting the members common interests.

Steve who has led his agency to top heights since its creation about 9 years ago is also promising to foster unity and healthy competition between all agencies in marketing communications.

“Taking into consideration his level of expertise in the Advertising industry, we’re expecting nothing short of a brilliant run, if he does become the president of the association”, a source said.

Steve Babaeko, who has served as the Publicity Secretary has given 25 years to the Advertising game and his meteoric rise to the top of the industry proves his efficiency. His vast experience, both as an advertising man and as a leader at the forefront of the sector will prove to be very valuable to the AAAN.

Steve’s campaign slogan “Advancing Together”, fully encapsulates his Manifesto. His plan of action ranges from making reforms to empower women and providing equal opportunities for members of the Marketing Communications industry, to establishing a standard advertising academy for fostering the growth of talent available in the country. A more inclusive approach to Leadership is, quite frankly, long overdue and his agenda will be well received.

Outgoing President of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN), Ikechi Odibo, had acknowledged that advertising practice needs to undergo a change to cope with the demands of post-digital age.

According to the AAAN President, practitioners need to acquire new business mindsets and approaches, which he said are crucial to the business in a rapidly evolving business landscape.

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