CHiDIMMA UCHEGBU, Abuja.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said the government has given approval for the implementation of reform initiatives of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) in order to strengthen the advertising ecosystem, and encourage inclusive growth as well as attract investment to the industry.
The Minister disclosed this in Epe, Lagos State, on Saturday at the 49th Annual General Meeting of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN).
“As many of you are aware, one of the bold and necessary steps we have taken in recent times is the approval of the ongoing reform initiatives of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON). The reform is aimed at strengthening the advertising ecosystem, encouraging inclusive growth as well as attracting investment to the industry,” he said.
In his paper, entitled “The New World Order: Digital Transformation in Communication,” the Minister said advertising and brand marketing are prime examples of sectors where consumer data is critical, hence the need to leverage technology for direct engagement with the audiences.
He said in a world rapidly changing in its dynamics of opportunity and risks, talking directly with consumers in a data-enabled environment has taken brands and entrepreneurs closer to their consumers more than ever before.
“The odds of success or solution to any challenge in this new world order is as high as our regard for the power of digital technology. And the entrepreneurial opportunities lying in wait at that crossroad between technology and the economy of sectors like advertising and brand communication is vast and you, as industry leaders, must continue to harness a variety of talents and competencies to take maximum advantage of the opportunities presented,” Alhaji Mohamed said.
He said the realization of the power of technology in brand communication necessitated the setting up of the Ministerial Task Team on Audience Measurement System to give a legal and constitutional framework to a national, systemic, accountable, and data-driven understanding of the impact of communication on consumer behaviour.
The Minister expressed the desire that all the relevant parties in the Ministerial Task Team are able to complete the tasks in order to initiate the legislative processes necessary for the implementation of the audience measurement before the end of this administration.
He, however, advised AAAN to be wary of the potent impact of deliberate fake news, orchestrated disinformation, and demarketing by unscrupulous and faceless purveyors online, which present huge risks to brand communication as they undermine the most critical ingredient to successful consumer engagement, which is trust.
“We need you, as seasoned communicators and critical stakeholders, to also consider the roll-on effect of fake news and disinformation on the economy of advertising and brand marketing, both in the short and long term. It lays ambush on every brand promise and every potential argument you make to the benefit of your products and services,” Alhaji Mohammed said.
He said the Federal Government is committed to exploring all the opportunities offered by the social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and WhatsApp, for the benefit of the people, noting that some of the major tech giants have shown interest in investing and exploring business opportunities in the Nigerian digital space.
In his address of welcome, the President of AAAN, Mr. Steve Babaeko, commended the Minister for his untiring efforts toward repositioning the advertising ecosystem in Nigeria.
The Minister was accompanied to the event by the Registrar/Chief Executive of APCON, Dr. Olalekan Fadolapo, and the Director General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, Mr. Falorinso Coker.