Though incredible but it is true; Olu Akanmu, the Airtel Marketing Director has thrown in the towel. The highly respected marketing egghead, reliable sources told THISDAY, resigned his position in the Indian owned Airtel Nigeria Wednesday, May 22, 2013.
Sources said Akanmu’s resignation was as a result of his dissatisfaction with the way and manner Airtel management is handling their advertising campaigns in the media with impunity. In apparent move to save his career from being splashed and dented by the network, which is currently battling with contempt of court for total disregard for rule of law, and in order to save his name and integrity and a high-powered career profile he has built over the years.
Akanmu was said to have turned his back on the company after the company bought spaces in some print media and published adverts without either approval from Advertising Standard Panel (ASP), the arm of Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), advertising regulatory body nor a clearance from him on whose desk lies such decisions.
Embarrassed by such gross act of irresponsibility, reliable sources told THISDAY, Akanmu, who have been making frantic but fruitless efforts to redeem the already battered image of the company, felt he has had enough; he resigned.
With his exit, the Indian owned telecom company, which had gone through series of unsuccessful transformation that seem to do the network company more harm than good would have an uphill task managing its fast eroding brand equity.
It will be recalled that the network got its hands badly burnt in attempt to replace Prima Garnet, its creative advertising agency, with Scanad Nigeria, an agency owned by Kenyan born Indian who is reported to be a relation of the owners of Airtel Nigeria in a most dramatic and illegal manner. Despite a court injunction to the contrary, in a rather desperate move to move the account, Airtel disobeyed all court injunctions that status quo be maintained and went ahead to replace Prima Garnet. Presently, Prima Garnet is engaging the agency, Scanad Nigeria, and Airtel in a court action that promises to define the future of not just the advertising industry, but also the telecom network.