2017 tough for us, Advertising agencies lament


Stakeholders in the advertising sector of the Nigerian economy have disclosed that 2017 has been a tough year for the sector and their operations.
The Managing Director, Noah’s Ark Communication, Mr. Lanre Adisa, explained that the sector was not isolated from the Nigerian economy, which was embattled with recession.
He said, “Technically speaking, we have been told we are out of recession, but we do know that there are a whole lot of people who still find it difficult to make ends’ meet. If our clients don’t have it easy, it’s going to be tough for us to have any business.
“We have seen the pains that clients go through, and if you are fortunate to have clients, who are still in business despite the situation, then be very thankful. Not too many agencies have that kind of luck. But beyond this, clients are looking for people who can make a difference in their brands; every kobo matters.
“We had a scenario where a client had two agencies initially and they had to consolidate. So it’s been a very tough and challenging year for our industry. I want to believe that 2018 will be a better year. And we all know how Nigeria runs, 2018 will be a precursor to the election year, so we expect that more money will come into the economy.”
If the economic lull persists or the economy fails to rebound, Adisa advised stakeholders to consider merger for strength.
“There should be a reason I am going for a smaller entity. Maybe they have some things I don’t have. So you don’t just merge for the sake of merging. I cannot bring two underperforming businesses together all in the name of merging,” he said.
Like the Noah’s Ark boss, another operator, Mr. Tobi Adekeye, insisted that there must be some areas of strength identified.
He explained, “I think what will be required is for individual businesses to look inwards and see how they can evolve. The days of taking back and just getting briefs from clients are over. We need to go beyond that. Our industry is not working at the same pace with changes in our environment.
“There was a recent PwC report on the total value of the entertainment and media industries for the next two or three years. It was quite huge. How much of that is being leveraged by people in our industry? We do storytelling for God sake! So what are we doing about expanding the scope of our area of influence to include digital content development?”
Contrary to the argument that the industry has under-achieved as its other African counterparts are reportedly bigger, Adisa noted that these countries also had their challenges.
“Jupiter Drawing Room is one of the most respected brands out of Africa, and they had to close their Johannesburg shop this year. South Africa also went into recession and they have the issue of the Black Power. So things are not rosy, as they seem. But it’s down to you as an agency to find your own way. The most important thing is talent management. I just think we need to learn a lot of things,” he said.