Empowering Nigeria Through Advertising: ARCON's Vision for the National Advertising Conference 2023

The Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) is gearing up for the much-anticipated third edition of the National Advertising Conference (NAC), scheduled to take place from December 6th to 8th, 2023, at the esteemed International Conference Centre in Abuja. This announcement was made during a press briefing held at the L’eola Hotel in Ikeja, Maryland Lagos, on the auspicious date of Monday, October 2nd.

The organizers are pulling out all the stops to ensure that this year's conference is not just another event but a transformative experience, one that will be both informative and beneficial to industry practitioners and the nation's economy. With the theme of "Marketing Communication As An Enabler Of National Transformation," the conference is set to address vital issues that resonate with the current administration and the transfer of power that occurred earlier this year.

Mr. Tunji Adeyinka, Chairman of the Planning Committee, expressed the significance of this year's theme. He outlined three critical topics derived from the last National Advertising Conference: 'determining the size of the industry,' 'the contribution to GDP,' and 'the multiplier effect.' The "multiplier effect" concept is particularly noteworthy, signifying that every unit of currency spent on advertising translates into a certain amount in the broader economy. To delve deeper into these matters, a dedicated committee has been established, tasked with examining the industry's contributions through employment and value addition, utilizing a formula to gauge its impact on economic growth.

"In planning this year, we set out very clearly to not merely replicate past conferences but to create an event that can effectively address some of the key highlights and narratives of the advertising industry," Mr. Adeyinka added.

In his welcoming address, Dr. Lekan Fadolapo, Director-General of ARCON, emphasized the collaborative nature of the conference, stating, "Today's event is not about just ARCON; it is about the entire industry." Consequently, two pivotal committees have been inaugurated: 'The Brand Nigeria Committee' led by Steve Babaeko, President of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN), and 'The GDP Multiplier Committee' led by Femi Adelusi, President of the Media Independent Practitioners Association of Nigeria (MIPAN).

The 'Brand Nigeria Committee' aims to cultivate positive communication that highlights the nation's many strengths. As Steve Babaeko noted, every country faces challenges, but what sets them apart is their willingness to address these issues openly. Nigerians are known for their openness, and this committee seeks to emphasize the country's positive attributes consciously. Branding, as Steve explained, is an ongoing journey rather than a final destination, and this initiative seeks to actively communicate all the positive aspects of Nigeria.

On the other hand, the 'GDP Multiplier Committee' will dive into industry spending, its contribution to GDP, and the broader impact of this contribution on the economy. This comprehensive approach aims to uncover every aspect that contributes to the advertising profession.

Dr. Fadolapo highlighted that these committees signify the industry's collective endeavor to position Brand Nigeria favorably among the community of nations. The strategy will be developed as part of the National Advertising Conference, focusing on evaluating all elements of Nigeria's brand and devising a communication strategy.

Addressing concerns about advert law violations, Femi Adelusi, President of MIPAN and Chairman of the GDP Multiplier Committee, clarified that the advertising industry is subject to regulation, primarily the Nigerian Code of Advertising. Adherence to these regulations is paramount, and the industry is actively monitoring advertisements from various sources. Those found in violation will be taken before the Advertising Offences Tribunal for necessary action. This endeavor is not solely a government initiative; it is an industry-led effort involving critical stakeholders and government agencies. The emphasis is on a grassroots-oriented approach that resonates with all stakeholders and the wider population.

In terms of execution, the involvement of all industry players is essential. Collaboration will extend to all media houses, including print and new media, ensuring everyone is on board. This industry-led initiative, with government and stakeholders actively participating, aims to achieve the best possible outcomes. The presentation of these efforts will take place during the upcoming advertising event, symbolizing the commitment to drive positive change in Nigeria's advertising landscape.

An analysis of the rundown of the event flow is as seen below:

DAY 1 of the Advertising conference will feature a Fireside Chat with 3 industry bigwigs. The Fireside chat would hold at Johnwood Hotel Abuja.

DAY 2 will feature the official opening ceremony followed by the Economic session on the GDP Multiplier campaign. This will be followed by the Brand Nigeria Session at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.

DAY 3 will have 4 breakout sessions focused on the professionals and the academia. A breakout session has been created to interface with students within the town meeting the gown setting. Day 3 sessions will be rounded up with a Town Hall meeting with ARCON. This would be followed up with an Industry Dinner and the Advertising Standards Panel (ASP) Compliance Awards.

The Advertising conference was born out of the need to create a unifying platform for all stakeholders in the advertising industry for learning and unlearning, networking, evaluation of the industry's growth pattern, discussion of prevalent issues bothering practitioners, industry and clients, exchange of ideas on ways to overcome the challenges and make the industry a haven of positive growth for all stakeholders and the nation's economy at large is powered by the sectorial groups – AAAN,  MIPAN, BON, EXMAN and OAAN.

Participants/ delegates are assured of a better outing this year as all hands are on deck to make this year’s converge, a roller coaster of learning and relearning. Details about the conference and participation can be found on the conference platform – www.advertisingconference.com

In conclusion, the National Advertising Conference 2023 promises to be a pivotal event that not only celebrates the advertising industry but also seeks to harness its potential for the betterment of Nigeria. With a focus on national transformation, positive branding, and strict adherence to advertising regulations, this conference symbolizes unity and determination to drive growth and innovation in the Nigerian advertising sector.



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