Out-of-Home operators move to jolt industry with standard operating procedure

… APCON backs move

Nigeria’s multi-billion marketing communication industry, like some other sectors in Africa’s most populous nation, is under burden of survival.

The sluggish growth of the country’s economy at 2.27% compared to 6% in 2014 and the lack of resolve by operators in the country’s marketing communication industry to assert their relevance through collective exercise of powers in their favour have combined to put the industry under strain.

The industry is also facing unhealthy competition among players, competition from other forms of consumer engagement, delayed payment by clients of upto six months for contract executed with borrowed funds, dearth of talents, regulation and practice by non-registered operators, developments that have chocked the industry.

Determined to wriggle out of these challenges and build a viable industry for clients and economy’s benefit, members of Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria, OAAN, a segment of the media industry came together last week under the auspices of APCON to establish Standard Operating Procedure, SOP for the conduct of out-of –home advertising business in Nigeria. They believe the SOP will assist to re-stimulate the industry.

Sharing the context of Nigeria’s present reality with the practitioners, Onyekachi Onubogu, CEO, Frutta Juice and Services told the OAAN members to protect their stake if they consider themselves as stakeholders in the industry. “As stakeholders, we all have a single interest in ensuring that the industry not only survives, but thrives”.

He agrees that the marketing and advertising sector in Nigeria is struggling and “that is why we are concerned about the declining revenue and the problem is if it keeps declining, then we are in trouble”.

To deal with certain challenges confronting the industry, especially delayed payment, patronage of non-registered practitioners by clients and regulation, Onubogu sees cooperation among the OAAN practitioners as solution. “Unless we cooperate in the industry, nobody will win and there is no winner when the industry is sick”, he said.

Onubogu who wondered why agencies have not taken clients to court for breach of contract, advised them that until they can blacklist clients, “you won’t wield powers. But the only way to do it is if you work together as stakeholders in the industry to create and drive value not just for the clients but for your businesses”.

To deal with non-registered members, he said OAAN must create platform and procedures of engagement with clients with spelt out sanctions and that APCON should maintain a list of members that clients must abide for engagement.

Speaking at the forum, Joe-Eugene Onuorah, Deputy Director/Head of Registration and Professional Development at APCON said sometimes OOH may execute jobs haphazardly due to lack of funds thereby distorting the strategy of the campaign and the desired value delivered.

“With all the complications engendered by the absence of sustainable terms of engagement, committed to by the parties involved, everyone—-the advertiser, buying agency, the OOH operator, and the regulator—-loses revenue and value, one way or the other”.

He said rather than push the blame for consequential loses, it pays the stakeholders to come together to agree on guiding principles for an out-of-home advertising contract and commit to jointly enforcing the terms of the contract on any defaulting stakeholders.

Emmanuel Ajufor, president of the Outdoor Advertising Agencies of Nigeria, (OAAN) said the association understands the importance of the standard operating procedure in out-of-home advertising business.

The standard operating procedure becomes necessary in order to standardise how the business is being run and to adopt global best practices in the business.

In his presentation, Ade Akinde, the chairman of the occasion who quoted PWC report said out-of-home got N45 billion, 27.8% of total Ad budget of N162 billion in 2019. With projected decline of Ad budget to N47 billion in 2020, he said “the troubling question is what percentage will be within OAAN?” with 85 members.

Late last year, APCON held Advertisers forum in Abuja where stakeholders in advertising community identified challenges confronting the industry and offered possible solutions to ignite the Ad industry.


Daniel Obi