There are indications that The International Advertising Association, IAA, a global association that brings together advertisers, media practitioners and agencies with presence in over 70 countries across the world, is strategising to re-establish its presence, IAA Nigeria, in the country bearing in mind the position of the country in the sub-region and on the continent coupled with its economic potential.
The once viable Nigerian chapter then led by Late May Nzeribe, CEO, Sunrise D’Arcy and former Chairman, Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), became comatose and eventually inactive in the IAA. Currently, in Africa, only IAA Ghana and Egypt Chapters exist, hence the series of efforts over the past few years to set up a new chapter for the country.
To make this a reality, the Association of Advertising Agencies in Nigeria (AAAN) played host to IAA board member and IAA Ghana Chapter’s Mrs. Norkor Duah. In an interactive session with Brandcrunch, Mrs. Duah, who also is the CEO, Mullenlowe Accra, Ghana and has the responsibility of developing the IAA brand across Africa, as IAA Board member noted, “IAA has been pushing and hoping that we can establish a chapter in Nigeria”
According to her, April will mark the 80th anniversary of IAA. “We think we should be here, because globally, Africa is considered emerging market. Africa is important, this is sub-Sahara Africa and we are looking to bringing Africa together”.
In 2015, IAA organised “Africa Rising”, the first black forum to bring the voice of Africa alive. To tie in with the inauguration of Nigerian chapter, the body is already planning to host another conference in Accra, Ghana in May, there it hopes to announce the rebirth of the Nigerian chapter.
The IAA, she revealed, is about where we are going in terms of the Advertising, media, and in terms of the clients. The IAA chapter in place brings the element and benefits of cascading global trends. “The evolution that is happening across the world is something we in Africa need to hook up to and see how we can plug in and gain from it”.
Beyond this, IAA is very passionate about education and knowledge transfer. Within the IAA, the IAA official disclosed, there are fractioned out ways to allow different affiliation for education, for training and in motivating young professionals as well.
Admiring the Nigerian advertising industry, she noted that Nigeria has the necessary administrative structures like the APCON, AAAN; market in terms of economy. Advertising over the years has been able to cover enormous ground while adding that the expertise currently on ground is well complimented.
“The marketing communications industry in Nigeria is doing well, the fact that lots of them have come together to build a solid network for global brands, you would have known that practitioners here are forthcoming. Buying into the IAA will be a great added advantage for both the agencies, clients and practitioners”
While disabusing the notion that the IAA Nigeria is probably a duplication of some sorts, the IAA official insisted, “the IAA is value packed”. IAA Nigeria chapter will definitely get value. “You have to pay dues to be a part of. But it’s reasonable, it’s something we in Ghana have done over the last 10/15 years and we see and derive real value in being members of the IAA”
Structurally, IAA is democratic. Nigeria will not be under Ghana, she affirmed. “I am past president of IAA Ghana chapter and I seat on the global board as a vice president. With the way IAA is structured, immediately all obligations are fulfilled as a chapter and of a certain number, the chapter automatically has a representative on the global board member. At the board level, you then work yourself strongly on how to create values and see how best your members can benefit the more. It’s very democratic, very open and highly professional”, she noted.
The IAA has become more attractive now because of the dynamics of our industry, she added. The body brings everyone together. Either you are in creative, the media, PR, promotion, or Activation agencies. This means the IAA Nigeria hopes to bring together the advertiser, the media, the agencies and even the academia on board.
Across the world, there are countries and institutions that can be accredited by IAA to run training. So that’s also an opportunity for a chapter to double up and make sure there is a succession in the industry to move the industry forward so it’s not shaken by movement within the local parlance, the IAA official warned.