As encomiums continue to pour in for the Group Head, Marketing and Corporate Communications at First Bank, Folake Ani-Mumuney, who was recently elected President of Advertisers Association of Nigeria, expectations are high among stakeholders that she would ensure a more proactive ADVAN, being a woman with immense industry clout. Raheem Akingbolu reports
It was not the first time a president would be elected for the Advertisers Association of Nigeria, but the outcome of penultimate week’s election, which produced the first female president of the association, was notable. Beyond the fact that the new helmsman of the advertisers’ association, Mrs. Folake Ani-Mumuney, is a woman, the fact that she is the spin doctor for the country’s number one financial brand is a powerful statement of faith in the advertising industry by corporate Nigeria. Ani-Mumuney, who defeated the Marketing Director, PZ Nigeria, Mrs. Bukola Bandele, to become the 10th president of ADVAN, is the first female leader of the association since it was established in 1992. She took over from the Marketing Director of Remita, Mr. David Okeme.
The new president, who will work with a strong team made up of eminent marketing executives from reputable organisations, is expected to run the affairs of the association for the next two years. She would be expected to re-positioning ADVAN and make it more vibrant and sensitive to the expectations and yearnings of the marketing profession and relevant stakeholders.
Ani-Mumuney will work with Head, Media and Digital Unit of Nigerian Breweries Plc, Wasiu Abiola, who was elected the First Vice President of ADVAN, as well as Executive Head, Corporate Communications, Stanbic IBTC, Nkiru Olumide-Ojo, who emerged the Second Vice President. The association’s new treasurer is Unilever’s Nnnena Osi, while Product Manager, Indomie, Onome Asagbra, now holds the publicity portfolio in ADVAN’s new executive.
Ani-Mumuney and her team are expected to hit the ground running. Already, she has indicated her interest in the prioritisation of data as a prerequisite for good media planning and measurement.
While highlighting the imperative of data in marketing after her inauguration at the 2017 ADVAN Marketing Day, Ani-Mumuney said the biggest reason for the failure of marketing campaigns was the wrong application of data in planning and execution of campaigns. She emphasised that data tells businesses what their customers like, what wins them businesses, and what causes them to lose valuable opportunities.
She said, “Data presents a very interesting conundrum for us going forward; it provides the insight to make informed decisions. And, ultimately, if you do not make informed decision, marketing will not be effective and if it is not effective our return on investments will be challenged and questioned by our chief financial officers,”
As one of the sectoral bodies in the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), ADVAN occupies a special position because members of other associations want to catch their attention. Despite this, over the years, the association is believed to have been very lackadaisical about its main objectives, especially as it concerns advocacy that revolves around rates and protection of local interest in the industry.
Commenting on why ADVAN is not catching up with other sectoral bodies, an advertising practitioner, Mr. Niyi Bakare, said being employees in some companies, ADVAN members were not under pressure to achieve any of the objectives. Bakare said, “The reason is simple: they are the brands’ owners, from whom others are sourcing for businesses. As a result of this, complacency tends to set in for successive executives of ADVAN because they have nothing to lose if they fail to achieve a particular objective.”
To this end, the new leadership is expected to make the association more vibrant and deal with core advertising issues.
In recent times, ADVAN has also been criticised by some players in the marketing communications industry for not protecting the interest of local marketing communications practitioners when it comes to engagement of agencies. In the area of pitch exercise, marketing practitioners have also called on the new leadership to ensure a level playing field for practitioners.
However, many practitioners have commended the association for its contribution to the industry over the years. According to the publisher of Marketing Edge, a wholly Marketing Communication magazine, Mr. John Ajayi, ADVAN has since its inception played a pivotal role in stabilising and championing the cause of integrated marketing communications services in Nigeria.
Ajayi said, “As a body of advertisers who are the paymasters, it has consistently advocated and ensured value -adding services to brands marketing expenditure. Oftentimes, ADVAN has midwifed and guaranteed win – win situations for all vendors and trade partners involved in brand management and marketing services. It has also prevailed on industry regulators to ensure a level playing and healthy competitive environment.
“With the ascension of its new executive under the indomitable amazon, Folake Ani-Mumuney, with her well selected ‘A’ team executive members, there is no doubt the body will double on its past and previous achievements. The Folake Ani-Mumuney that I know is a round peg in a round hole. With her impeccable character, educational and career pedigree, she can drive ADVAN to a higher height and also attract other stakeholders in setting a new standard for growth and development of the marketing sector.”
To Deputy Provost of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Mr. Jide Johnson, ADVAN has done well in the area of stakeholders’ engagement. According to him, “ADVAN has done a lot in the area of stakeholders’ engagement and bridging the knowledge gap in the industry. Till the establishment of ADVAN in 1992, Nigerian advertisers had negligible input with regards to issues affecting the marketing industry. Decisions on rate increase and other crucial concerns were concluded without thought to the interest of the advertiser, who actually ‘pays the piper’. Whereas, the interests of the other sectors in the industry’s value chain were well represented by their respective associations. This has since changed; it can only be better.”
The Woman, Folake Ani-Mumuney
Ani-Mumuney is a seasoned marketer and communicator, who heads the marketing and corporate communications functions globally for FBN Holdings Plc, the parent company of First Bank of Nigeria. In her marketing career, which spans 22 years, Ani-Mumuney has gained valuable experiences across key sectors, like banking, aviation, FMCG, manufacturing and oil and gas. During this period, she has held varied roles, leading strategy and business planning, process re-engineering, new business development and marketing. She served as Manager, Brands, Policies and Communications, Europe and Africa, British Airways Plc; Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Dangote Group; and Group Head, Marketing and Corporate Communications, FirstBank.
An alumnus of the Harvard Business School, Ani-Mumuney holds a first degree in Philosophy, obtained in Nigeria; a second degree in Law from the United Kingdom; and a Diploma in Business Computing Systems Analysis and Design also from the U.K.
In an interview with THISDAY after her election, Ani-Mumuney said she felt honoured by the confidence reposed in her by her colleagues and pledged to build upon the foundation laid by the immediate past executive led by Okeme. She promised to operate an open door policy and resolve some of the challenges confronting the industry through regular dialogue with stakeholders and execution of strategic programmes, which her executive will unveil soon. This, she believes, will make the association achieve meaningful results for the benefit of all members and the country at large.