Independence had a significant impact on the growth of the advertising profession in Nigeria. According to Mr. Ayo Owoborode, managing director/CEO, ServeWell Limited, a marketing communications consultancy outfit, “At independence, there was this movement, call it psychological movement, that gave everybody the confidence that a Nigerian can do it. So there was this can do spirit that was instilled in the minds of the people particularly by our political leaders. It gave us that feeling that if these political leaders can do it, every Nigerian can also do it, and that saw Nigerians setting up different businesses which they had never thought they could do. It extended to the field of advertising, they said yes if the foreign agencies can set up and run successfully, Nigerian agencies can also set up and run successfully.
“And so there were an avalanche of businesses owned by Nigerians. Such businesses owned by Nigerians became the bedrock of the clientele of the advertising agencies that were also developed.”
Let me share here a history of advertising from 1960 to 2014. Since the emergence of modern advertising in the 1920s, and the shift from text-based ad to visual adv followed by the use of psychologically sophisticated messages created a very powerful cultural resonance for ads among consumers. Madison Avenue represented the new and the modern (Madison Avenue was since
replaced by social networks and social media), and ads helped consumers figure out what was needed to live certain lifestyle. Consumers were eager to embrace the cultural authority of Madison Avenue and the client brands. But by the late 1950s, they were feeling differently. Along with affluence and increased security came the critique of corporate conformity in the workplace. The contradictions of 1950s culture were beginning to emerge, and one of them was the inordinate influence advertising and sales appeared to have in our culture. .
ADVERTISING FROM 1960 - 1989
In the 1960’s new advertising agencies emerged. The medium of advertising agencies emerged. The medium of advertising was in it’s infancy in those days, Federal Government owned National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) were the only television stations that operated in the four regions of East, West, North and later Midwest.
With the increase in practitioners and agencies, a regulatory body had to be formed to standardize their practices. A meeting of the agencies held at Ebute Metta, Lagos in 1971 was to metamorphose into Association of Advertising Practitioners of Nigeria (AAPN) with the objective of protecting practitioners against unfavorable business. The association was later renamed Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria. The need to establish an institution to regulate advertising practice became apparent.
Advertising began to grow and blossom in Nigeria with the emergence of the Television and Radio. Between 1960 and 1970 there was a rush of foreign advertising investors in Nigeria. Some of them include Afro-media and Sun Rise.
In other to cub or regulate the activities of these agencies, there was the enactment of the Nigerian Enterprise Promotion Decree of 1972 which gave impetus to the fact that only Nigerians should own and control these agencies. APCON was established by decree 55 of 1988 as the Apex regulatory boby for advertising practice in Nigeria.
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