The entry of the new Registrar/CEO of Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) Dr. Olalekan Olumuyiwa Fadolapo who formally took over on the 1st of September as the 4th substantive Registrar of the regulatory body raises hope of the formal acceptance of the Experiential Marketing Association of Nigeria (EXMAN) as a recognised stakeholder in the industry.
Last year, when a former President of EXMAN, Tade Adekunle was just coming into office , he promised that he would be showing greater commitment to the task of developing human capacity of its members with a view to obtaining formal recognition of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) as a distinct sector in the advertising industry. He equally stated this in his chat with ExperientialNG.
Adekunle, in his analysis of the IMC sector in Nigeria at that time, noted that with over 46 active members then operating in experiential sub-sector, the organisation was making significant contribution to the growth and development of advertising and allied sectors of the economy.
He also expressed regrets that in over six years of EXMAN’s corporate existence, efforts to obtain APCON certification for the group suffered setbacks due to prolonged absence of the a Governing Council, but added that the organisation would intensify efforts and see to it that experiential marketing becomes formalised in the industry.
His words then: “We are definitely going to be a sector and a part of APCON. Right now APCON cannot say we are not known to them because, informally, we relate with them. Our relationship with them ought to have been formalised but because they did not have a Governing Council in place for the past four years, the formalisation of EXMAN in APCON has been stalled.
“The ultimate goal is to become recognised as a sector within the fold of APCON. Informally, the move is being made but until they have a Governing Council and, maybe, this time around the President will set up one and a formal process will then take place,” Adekunle said.
Now, the long wait is finally over. APCON's governing council has been fully constituted. Dr. Fadolapo was received that day in a brief but exciting ceremony by top Management and staff of the Council. In his response, he expressed gratitude to God and to the Federal Government for the confidence reposed in him to serve the nation in that capacity, pledging to build on the successes and achievements of his predecessors in realising the organisation’s mandate.
So far Many stakeholders including AAAN where Dr Fadolapo served, ADVAN and EXMAN have paid courtesy calls on the new APCON CEO.
The quest to seek recognition as a stakeholder within the marketing communications space must however be approached with deep reflection and caution as an important aspect of this process will be to ensure that self regulation is not ceded for governmental regulation without requisite documentation and clear benefit to the experiential marketing stakeholders. To achieve this, we believe that the leadership of EXMAN will be wise to study what currently obtains in other climates such as the UK where non-broadcast advertising is regulated using self regulatory mechanisms set out by the promotional marketing panel of the Committee of Advertising Practice under the auspices of the Advertising Standards Board.