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 Thorpe identifies  key tasks for research, action in advertising

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Chief Olu Falomo ( holding microphone) with other guests at the presentation of A Trilogy of Advertising

Marketing communication entrepreneur and thought leader, Mr George Thorpe, has called on scholars as well as professionals to research and tackle six key emergent challenges facing the advertising and marketing communications industry.

Thorpe was concerned with the impact of “the globalisation of brands”, resulting in centralisation of the creation of adverts as well as the “growing dominance of global agency networks.” The result has been a concentration of advertising spend in “their few local affiliates”.

He said the industry needs to pay attention to the needs of SMEs and the challenge of integrating other segments of the marketing communications mix. He said there are pressures on APCON to go beyond merely limiting foreign ownership of agencies to “limiting the foreign content of adverts” to protect local industry.

Other challenges ae: Tremendous advancement in the use of audience data for scientific media planning that is now at risk and in urgent need of an even more sophisticated and robust measurement tool

An Out-of-Home advert industry regulated to a near comatose state by state governments whose interest and focus lies elsewhere.

The critical role of media monitoring service firms in driving timely collections, securing transparency and accountability and unlocking further values across the media advert value chain

Thorpe spoke while reviewing the book at the presentation of A Trilogy of Advertising: The Profession, The Practice, The Philosophy  authored by Dr Josef Bel-Molokwu, a former Registrar of APCON and Senior Fellow at the School of Media and Communication, Pan Atlantic University, Lagos.

While noting that the author had set a high bar in stimulating thought on advertising, Thorpe called for “A more research and analysis based approach to a book addressing all of the six and more challenges”.

Thorpe is a founding chairman of MediaReach OMD and has had stakeholding in many other firms in the marketing communications. He continues to run MarketSpace Nigeria.

During his review, Thorpe offered generous commendation to the author for the effort. He affirmed that  A Trilogy of Advertising  “is the most comprehensive and detailed account of the genesis, growth and development of the advertising agency industry and its practitioners in Nigeria. In writing this three-part expose on the fundamental nature of advertising, the actual application of its principles and how its paid operators have fared over the years in Nigeria, the author sought to fill ‘some gaps’ and ‘to stimulate further advanced books on advertising’. He has exceeded all expectations and set a high bar for subsequent debates about the future of advertising in Nigeria.”

In his remarks, Dr Bel-Molokwu called for the formation of an association for individual advertising professionals, in addition to what exists. The existing groups in advertising in Nigeria are the regulator, APCON, that also issues practice licenses and the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN) that groups in agencies. Others address companies in various arms of the business including independent media buying.

Former chairman of OBM Advertising Chief Olu Falomo chaired the book presentation that featured many titans of the industry.

Guests were current APCON chairman Mr Udeme Ufot, Troyka Holdings chairman Mr Biodun Shobanjo, and Mr Steve Omojafor. Others were Mac Ovbiagele, Mr Dele Adetiba, a former managing director of Lintas Advertising, and Mr Biodun Jaji, a former Marketing Director of Cadbury Nigeria Plc.

Also present were Dr Ikechukwu Obiaya, dean of the School of Media & Communication, Pan Atlantic University, Prof Ralph Akinfeleye, chairman of the Department of Mass Communication, University of Lagos and Mrs Bunmi Oke, managing director of Ladybird Advertising and former president of AAAN.  Others included Mr George Umunna, Mr Emeka Oparah and Mr Chido Nwakanma.

Friends and family of Dr Josef Bel-Molokwu were present in large numbers.