LAIF Award as a Wake-up Call on Ad Practitioners

14 Nov 2012

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MIPAN President, Mr. Tolu Ogunkoya

Although it celebrated the best from the nation’s creative industry, low participation from agencies, the 2012 Lagos Advertising and Ideas Festival (LAIF) didn’t give it the required glamour, Raheem Akingbolu writes

Beyond rewarding the creative ingenuities of ad agencies, this year’s edition of the Lagos Advertising and Ideas Festival (LAIF), organised by the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN) threw up some crucial issues that can reshape the future of the industry and promote professionalism.

MIPAN on Ad Rate, ABC
Speaking at the award exhibition, President, Media Independent Practitioners Association of Nigeria (MIPAN), Mr. Tolu Ogunkoya, lamented the decline in newspaper circulation in the country and the increase in Advertising rate.
To reduce the cost of newspaper production, he urged media practitioners to begin collaborating with one another on ownership of printing machine, circulation vans and other capital intensive equipment.

As part of the measures needed for mutual understanding among APCON sectoral bodies, the MIPAN boss stated that AAAN, Advertisers Association of Nigeria (ADVAN) and MIPAN, needed to continue the dialogue with NPAN to ensure the ABC practice is re-introduced.
According to him, the reintroduction is necessary because it is the industry body for print media measurement.

NPAN Defense
Speaking on behalf of the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN), the Managing Director of The Nation Newspaper, Mr. Victor Ifijeh, who spoke on ‘Why Media Transaction Cost Will Always Increase,’ stated that transaction cost is a function of developments in the economic environment and that high cost of newspaper production has negatively affected media owners.
According to him, “The Nigeria newspaper industry is operating under a harsh business environment, no one sector is isolated, all the sectors are inter-related; they are linked to make up the whole. Therefore, whatever that affects the nation’s economy percolate from up, down to other sectors.”

Among others, Ifijeh, who was represented by Mr. Soji Omotunde, listed lack of adequate infrastructure and unstable government policies on import duties and exchange rate as some of the challenges facing the industry.
He stated that inability of practitioners to have easy access to newsprint and other materials needed for newspaper publication have continued to work against the growth of newspaper industry in Nigeria. He added that the industry was willing to operate in line with international standard and offer friendly ad rate.
He said, “In the newspaper industry, the major raw materials are newsprint, inks, plates and chemicals and they are all imported and the prices are not determined locally - they are dependent on the prevailing exchange rates.”

Shortage of Gold
Despite the annual campaign that LAIF Award is opened to all AAAN member agencies; the 2012 edition has again proved that only a few agencies slug it out with one another.
A breakdown of the award revealed that only 20 agencies, which represented just 20 per cent of the total number of registered agencies submitted entries. Around the same number also participated last year.

Another noticeable trend was that there was still shortfall in number of gold won at the award as most of the agencies got mentioned in silver and bronze in all the five major categories, which included; press, outdoor, radio, TV and special category.
The press has 13 sub-categories, radio & TV both have 10 sub-categories each, outdoors has 6 sub-categories while special category has 4 sub-categories. Across the categories, 129 medals were available to be won but only 77 were picked by contestants.
With the outcome of the award, especially considering the shortfall in number gold won, observers believe that creativity is not growing in the industry as expected.

Exceptional Agencies
Out of close to 100 AAAN registered agencies, only a few got mentioned as winner in either of the categories. Of the few agencies, Insight, Rosabel, Centrespread FCB, DDB and 141 Worldwide, could be said to have controlled the day. Other agencies are; LTC-JWT and Noah’s Ark.
The breakdown of the awards shows that Insight won four gold, nine silver and ten bronze medals. Rosabel Leo Burnett is placed second with three gold and one bronze medals; totaling four medals. The agency came third in the 2011 edition with 3 gold, 6 silver and 5 bronze medals. Centrespread emerged third with two gold and bronze medals.

It was not however consider a good outing for DDB Lagos that recorded 1 gold, eleven silver and twelve bronze medals making a total of 22 medals as against its 2011 record of 2nd position with 3 gold, 7 Silver and 5 Bronze. TBWA\Concept is placed 4th with 1 gold. In 2011, TBWA had 1 gold and 2 bronze.  In the current year, 141 Worldwide came 5th with four silver and two bronze totaling six medals. In 2011, the young agency won one gold and six other medals.
At the 7th position is LTC-JWT with two silver medals and two bronze while BatesCosse is placed 8th with two Silver medals. Noah’s Ark is in the 9th position with one silver and three bronze. Fuel Communications won one Silver medal, making it 10th on the medal table.
Prima Garnet Ogilvy is in the 11th position with two bronze medals while Eminent Communications, SO & U, Lowe Lintas, and DP Partnership came 12th with one bronze medal each.

According to an analyst and publisher of the leading wholly online brand publication, Mr. Lekan Babatunde, the drop in the number of entries, participation and individual agency performance, indicated a troubled industry on a downward slide. 
He said: “If LAIF is a temperature gauge of the Nigerian creative industry as the AAAN president posited, then the result and general performance of the 2012 edition of the awards should be a source of worry to stakeholders.”

Also speaking on the award, the Managing Director of Rosabel Advertising Limited, Mr. Kayode Oluwasona, deplored the shortage of Gold awards at the event, pointing out the need for an immediate creative reawakening in the industry. He pinned the increasingly improving creative prowess of Rosabel on the new spirit of winning in the Agency, and thanked all the Agency’s clients for empowering her to do great quality work.

Tags: Business, Nigeria, Ad Practitioners

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