By Godwin Anyebe
The appointment of Dr Lekan Fadolapo, as the Registrar of Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) President Mohammadu Buhari led administration as well celebrated by stakeholders in the Advertising industry.
APCON, an integral part of Nigeria’s market communications mix has been without a council for years.
Therefore, Nigeria’s marketing topography will have some relief with the appointment of the former Executive Secretary of the Association of Advertising Agency of Nigeria (AAAN), Dr Lekan Fodalapo.
Analysts are of the view that one of the major hurdles the new APCON helmsman will face is that of federal government’s inability to constitute APCON council over the years.
For these analysts, the helmsman is expected to set the ground running and begin to work towards finding solutions to industry pending issues.
Though, given his experience, Fodalapo is considered the right man for the job, but he will have a lot of issues to contend with.
For instance, the president of the Association of Advertising Agency of Nigeria (AAAN), Steve Babaeko said.”
There is a lot of work on the ground as far as the Marcom Industry is concerned, thankfully the new registrar is quite familiar with all the issues from regulatory to practice point of view.
I expect quick round table conversations with the Heads of the sectoral group with a view to ironing out a few of the existing crises.
According to him, “also my expectation is that the old issue of APCON Chairman will be settled without further delay so that the APCON council can resume work and support the new Registrar to do his job optimally.
Urgent issues like the implementation of the APCON reform is a front burner situation today than ever before and we hope we can have a council in place to accelerate the implementation process,” One of the hurdles that the new APCON Registrar would have to cross is that of a cold war going on between members of the Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria (OAAN), on one hand, and Media Independent Practitioners Association of Nigeria (MIPAN) and top multinational companies operating in Nigeria over a poor payment plan.
Checks show that, in the last few years, businesses of top players in the marketing communications industry and other vendors working for multinationals are on the decline following rising debt profile of media buying agencies and multinational companies.
It is however expected that Lekan will quickly wade in and resolve the issue. Though the outdoor practitioners have been facing challenges in the last 15 years, especially in the area of frequent clashes with states regulatory bodies, the current challenge has to do with poor the payment system on the part of multinationals and media buying agencies.
On his part, the president of Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria, (OAAN) Emmanuel Ajufo, decried the rudderless state of the advertising industry, citing the prolonged absence of APCON Council as the bane of the sub-sector he said he wanted Fadolapo to immediately look at two areas that would set the tone of what to expect from his stay at the helm of affairs in APCON.
“The first one is that I expect him to galvanise the industry into putting in place an APCON Governing Council that will help him deliver on our expectations.
The second area of concern is to fully implement the APCON Corporate licence policy.
Before now, he was the Chairman of the corporate licence committee.
If he did so well when he was working as a Committee Chairman, I will expect him to do more, now that the buck stops on his table,” he added.