Conviviality mixed with intellectualism Thursday, November 16 at the presentation of a major new work on advertising in Nigeria. 

Former APCON Registrar Dr Josef Bel-Molokwu authored the over 400-page treatise, A Trilogy of Advertising: The Profession, The Practice, The Philosophy. The Senior Fellow at the School of Media and Communication, Pan Atlantic University, said the need to jumpstart serious conversations on various outstanding issues in the profession inspired him to write. 

The need for more was also the thrust of the review by marcomms thought leader Mr George Thorpe. Thorpe affirmed that A Trilogy of Advertising “is the most comprehensive and detailed account of the genesis, growth and development of the advertising agency industry and its practitioners in Nigeria”. He added, “In writing this three-part expose on the fundamental nature of advertising, the actual application of its principles and how its paid operators have fared over the years in Nigeria, the author sought to fill ‘some gaps’ and ‘to stimulate further advanced books on advertising’. 

 He has exceeded all expectations and set a high bar for subsequent debates about the future of advertising in Nigeria.”
George Thorpe wants more. He wants more research on six contemporary challenges of advertising in Nigeria. He suggested that Dr Bel-Molokwu should not retire or consider returning from retirement to lead the research. 

The issues for Thorpe are 

1. “The globalisation of brands”, resulting in centralisation of the creation of adverts as well as the “growing dominance of global agency networks.” The result has been a concentration of advertising spend in “their few local affiliates”. 

2. Paying attention to the marketing communication needs of SMEs as well as the challenge of integrating other segments of the marketing communications mix. 

3. How APCON tackles the pressures on it to go beyond limiting foreign ownership of agencies to “limiting the foreign content of adverts” to protect local industry.

4. A tremendous advancement in the use of audience data for scientific media planning that is now at risk and in urgent need of an even more sophisticated and robust measurement tool. 

5. An Out-of-Home advert industry regulated to a near comatose state by state governments whose interest and focus lies elsewhere.

6. The critical role of media monitoring service firms in driving timely collections, securing transparency and accountability and unlocking further values across the media advert value chain. 
Family and friends used the occasion to mark Dr Jo Bel-Molokwu's 70th birthday. The award-winning scholar clocked 70 in April. 

Industry heavies were present in good numbers at the event. APCON Registrar Garba Bello Kankarofi had a great time playing host. Chief Olu Falomo of OBM fame chaired the event. Present were current APCON chair Udeme Ufot, Biodun Shobanjo of Troyka Group, Chief Ayo Owoborode, Steve Omojafor of STB McCann, Mac Ovbiagele of MacSell and Mr Dele Adetiba, a former managing director of Lintas. 

Others were Mrs Bunmi Oke of Ladybird Advertising and former president of AAAN, Mr Georgi Umunna, Mr Biodun Jaji, former marketing director of Cadbury Nigeria and Mr Emeka Oparah, Director of Corporate Communication and CSR at Airtel. Mr Osaro Isokpan, a Jacksonite and former Managing Director of the Nigerian-American Merchant Bank, came to stand by his course mate and friend. 

The Dean of the School of Media & Communications, Pan Atlantic University, Dr Ikechukwu Obiaya, was present, as was Prof Ralph Akinfeleye of the department of Mass Communication, University of Lagos. 
Mrs Vera Ngozi Osokoya, Marketing Director of FRCN, led a strong team including the author’s son, Lloyd Bel-Molokwu who works in FRCN. A happy Mrs Chinwe Bel-Molokwu stood proudly beside her husband. NTA’s Augusta Maduegbuna was present as was Georgi Umunna wearing two hats of advertising professional and family. 

The Thorpe challenge awaits researchers. Congratulations to Dr Josef Bel-Molokwu, author of four books, best graduating student in Journalism and the Faculty of Arts, UNN, class of 1o973!. See more photo

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