Former CEO of Sterling Bank plc and current chairman of Lawson Thomas & Colleagues Group (LTC-JWT), a foremost integrated marketing communications group, Babatunde Dabiri, has thrown his weight behind the advertising reform law put in place by the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON).
The reform had built a wall around the Nigerian advertising industry from external control, and Dabiri belief is that the industry is not mature enough for external attack
Speaking at the LTC Group 25 years celebration in Lagos last weekend, an event that witnessed industry stakeholders such as Vincent Maduka; Lolu Akinwunmi, chairman of APCON; Kelechi Nwosu, managing director, TBWA; Bola Thomas, ex-managing director, LTC-JWT, and David Okeme, marketing director, Unilever Nigeria, Dabiri said global players were venturing into the Nigerian market because of the potential the market possesses, saying “advertisers and advertising practitioners should ensure proper structure is laid to be able to withstand external and foreign forces finding their way into the market because the best is yet to come.”
On the past, present and future of the company, he said “the company cannot afford to rest on its oars at this stage, though we are matured but we are already thinking about the next 25 years. Market is changed and it is more digital, youthful and engaging and our brand has to evolve to compete well.”
Narrating how the company started, the co-founder and ex-chairman of the group, Billy Lawson said the business had faced challenges to get to the present stage, saying “LTC JWT has an interesting beginning and we are proud to be where we are, though we have not been to our destination yet. A group of young people in 1987 broke out to start something new in advertising and today they have that which they wanted to offer to clients.”
The first managing of the group and the first woman to lead Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN), Bola Thomas said the agency had the objective to ensure that Nigerian agencies take the issue of succession plan seriously.
“Even in my capacity as AAAN president, I went from agency to agency to preach about adequate structure for succession plan because this was lacking even among the top agencies at the time. I am proud even after Lawson and myself, the agency is still running even better. I urged Nigerian ad agencies to embrace succession plan and this will ensure the business we have today survive the next 50 years,” she said.
In his remark, Charles Abraham, managing director of LTC-JWT, said “advertising is the mixture of science and art, but practitioners should always ensure that business management is important to moving the business forward, beside creativity.”