The Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN) has elected Ikechi Odigbo, Managing Director, DDB Lagos as President of the Association for the next two years amidst other landmark decisions taken at the just concluded 45th Annual General Meeting /Congress of the Association.
An era of Growing Economic pot
Featuring the theme: Growing the Economic Pot: The Role of Advertising, the paper delivered by Mr. Kingsley Uranta who represented John Momoh, CEO Channels Television espoused the increasingly growing role of advertising and its practitioners while dwelling on how they can further explore the benefits of the growing economy and business to advantage.
As an election AGM, aside the business session which has the Ogun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun as special guest and Chief Host ably represented by Dayo Adeneye, Commissioner for Information, Ogun State, the 2018 AGM also witnessed the election of new exco members to lead the association, as one of the high-points of the event.
Unprecedented, Ko se le ri – The way Aru sees it
In the election, Ikechi recorded a feat as he followed on the heels of his elder brother, Enyin Odigbo, who was the AAAN president between 2008 -2010. Ikechi who was the Vice President in last tenure led by Kayode Oluwasona, was elected unopposed at Abeokuta, Ogun State capital, venue of the congress.
“It is an unprecedented event in the history of the association. This is the first time a brother of a former president, will be elected to serve as President. It has never happened before”, echoed Toye Arulogun, a delegate /CEO, Tall & Wide and Commissioner for Information, Oyo State.
The V P Position and the rising Stakes
Perhaps, also for the first time in the annals of the association, the position of the Vice President aroused so much verve and interest from all and sundry and inherently became the most keenly contested post at the 2018 AGM. Two respected practitioners put down their feet, test their wits and popularities, slugged it out as they offered their willingness to serve at the manifesto night.
Steve Babaeko, CEO, X3M Ideas and Chairman, LAIF Organising Committee feasibly considered as the hot favorite for the job was given a good run for his money as Yomi Benson, CEO, Culture insists going to an election despite counsel to step down.
Hence, the Manifestoes night which appeared to be between the two – Steve and Yomi, became the defining occasion as “statements, probing questions and responses brought out the best and the people’s choice” said a delegate.
Lawson on the Upsurge of interest in the VP Position
According to Sola Lawson who anchored the Manifesto night, the new found interest in the position of the Vice President which was hitherto more of a “give away” stems from the realization that if the wrong candidate emerged for the position, it will invariably affect the association on the long run. That is as “some believe that the Vice President automatically becomes the President. When this happens, the association will be the worse for it. This explains people’s seriousness at this particular election he explained.
Against this background, the contest for the position of the Vice President became a fait accompli for Babaeko as he emerged with almost total support by most delegates winning 53 out of the 55 votes cast for the position.
Giving it to the Opposition!
Prior to the election proper, Mr Yomi Benson had declared, “If it is about creativity, Steve will win, but it’s not about creativity, it’s about the business of advertising”, he started his manifesto on a shaky premise! With giggles and signs of disbelief from the delegates, Mr. Benson attempted to position himself as a new voice, offering new paradigm for the association to move forward.
Choosing the hard-sell way, he unwittingly stepped on toes, castigating the previous administrations and some of the things done in recent past while advocating for new brains and people to be elected into positions.
Madam notes “Comments Unfair” by Aspirant
Irked by this submission, Temitope Jemirigbe, MD, DKK whose views summed up the feelings of the majority of the delegates, took the candidate to task asking if he ever followed developments in the association especially the last tenure led by Kayode Oluwasona. Similarly, she raised issues on why the V.P Candidate distanced himself from the association and without remorse still blames the officials who had sacrificed so much for the association; and yet asks to be elected to the position of leadership of the association.
Indeed, the session became a “moment of truth” as Kola Ayanwale, one of the speakers at the earlier held veterans night described current time for the industry and its operators.
Saving the Future
In his presentation, Babaeko who tagged his manifesto “Together we can Save the Future”, pointed out that the election is not about one person or group of persons rather, “It is about salvaging our collective future in a bid to have an industry to bequeath to the next generation”.
Finding our Voice
Babaeko as the incumbent President of the LAIF Award Organising Committee, noted that his major push if elected will include working with the president on “rebuilding our clout and finding our voice; Fight for the enforcement of relevant portions of the APCON reform; and Re-equip the AAAN Secretariat.
To encourage the youth and female practitioners are given opportunity to shine in the industry, Babaeko said, “So many of our young members have brilliant ideas that can turn our fortune around, but first we have to open the door for them to come in,”
He got the desired enthusiastic response and indeed the presentation became the defining moment as it sets the stage for the next morning election.
Outside the Babaeko – Benson transitory debacle, other officers in the exco enjoyed smooth sail to power. Other members of the new executive and their respective positions are as follow: Jenkins Alumona, CEO, Strategic Outcomes- Public Relations Officer, Tope Jemerigbe, CEO, DKK- Assistant Public Relations Officer and Wale Akintunde, Treasurer.
The elected Ex-Offico are Feyi Olubodun, CEO Insight Publicis, Biodun Adefila, SO&U, Onuora Moloku, COO, CosseTTL, Dr Tunji Olugbodi, EVC, Verdant Zeal and chief Odun Fadoju, CEO, FCB DP Partnership while Kayode Oluwasona, CEO, Harmonee Concept and Immediate Past President has an automatic ticket as Ex-Officio member.
Odigbo’s mission to Rescue, Rebuild and Empower
Speaking after the election, Mr Odigbo as the new President said he will work with the newly constituted Executive members of the association to address the challenges facing the association.
“We will focus on addressing the issue of capacity building and driving people professional development. Consequently, we will work towards the operational launch of the advertising academy as a primary goal of driving people-development within our industry. We will also focus on providing thought-leadership within the creative industry.
“We will be engaging with our clients’ partner association, ADVAN to be able to work out a framework to ensure equitable terms of doing business for our member agencies even as they engage our client,” the new President declared.