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Adelusi becomes president as MIPAN holds AGM

Olufemi Akinwunmi Archiebald Adelusi, the managing director of BrandEye Media, a leading media specialist agency in Nigeria, has become the president of the Media Independents’ Association of Nigeria (MIPAN).

He was elected at the 2020 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the association on Tuesday, June 30, 2020, and took over from Dr. Ken Onyeali Ikpe, the managing director of Insight Redefini Group who had successful completed two terms of two years each as president of the association.

Others elected to work with Adelusi for a two-year term in the executive council are Dozie Okafor (vice president), Yetunde Adegbite (assistant secretary), Samson Oyebami (financial secretary), Henry Onaniwu (publicity secretary) and Akpan-Ekpo Enoch (assistant publicity secretary). Eki Adzufeh continues to function as the executive secretary of the association.

Adelusi started his educational journey at the Federal Government College, Ido-Ani, and later proceeded to University of Ilorin where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology. To further satisfy his quest for knowledge, he obtained his Master’s degree from the University of Benin and later a Master’s in Business Administration also at the University of Benin.

The president started his professional career as the head of University of Benin/Benin-Owena joint venture where he was for five years. Between 1998 and 2000, he worked with Chellarams and Vigeo, a marketing company, respectively. He later proceeded to Tequila, a leading experiential marketing company as the client service manager. In November 2000, he moved to Mediareach OMD, Nigeria where he rose to become head of Strategy & Planning Director& later director, Research & Innovation.

After six years of working for various agencies, Femi moved ahead to join one of the largest multinational in  the world, Coca-Cola International Limited as the Media & Sponsorship manager where he worked for seven years. He then moved to Guinness Nigeria Plc/Diageo as the head of Media & Marketing Communications where he worked until his resignation in May 2015. He is currently the managing director/CEO of BrandEye Media Limited.

Adelusi also has professional marketing qualifications from the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), UK and an APCON scholar & has a Diploma in Advertising from the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON).  He is a life member of the Lagos Business School (LBS).

President’s acceptance speech

In his acceptance speech, the new president, who was the vice president during the tenure Dr. Ken (as he is fondly called), thanked all practitioners, especially those who have in one way or the other contributed to the growth of the association and the industry.

Pointing out that 2020 marks 21st anniversary of the association, the president said it was no longer news that “we are in a pandemic and we live in a new normal where most aspects of life and business have been disrupted. We therefore must face the challenges and opportunities of a rapidly changing consumer and marketing landscape by finding new insights and pivot continuously to leverage and new opportunities.”

He advised members of the association to find the right balance as one cannot exist without the other. “This unusual time calls for new type of skills, resilience and a data/technology driven business and communities,” he said.

Adelusi seized the opportunity to unfold his plans for the association which he regarded as his vision.  He encapsulated them as “technology, data and innovation; human capital development; industry thought leadership; inclusiveness and collaboration; and commercial stability of the media ecosystem.”

He noted that the journey ahead may not be always smooth and pledged to be courageous enough to forge ahead and with the support of the new EXCO and the working committees.

The president called for all hands to be on deck in order to move forward. “We must support our agencies to succeed and go beyond our niche to other sectoral associations in the marketing communications industry for a sustainable and growth-oriented ecosystem; and break all barriers, both real and imagined, that limit the optimal self, driver gender equality and equal opportunity work environment.

“We must reach out to the digital agencies to join us in building a robust association and actively contribute to the building of a knowledge economy that help to shape policies, strategies and regulations; and develop our associates in media, digital and the marketing communications industry through our academy, webinars and training.”

Past president’s achievements

Earlier, the outgoing president, Dr. Ken, in his valedictory address, looked at the harsh business environment. “The Nigerian business and economic environment is characterized by several challenges including high level of insecurity, serious reduction in government revenue, high level unemployment, low purchasing power by consumers, and now we are terribly hit by Covid-19, the global Pandemic that has already claimed so many lives and still counting.

“Of course, all our businesses are under serious threat with attendant loss of clients and consequently loss of income. With all the challenges and reduction in consumption due to low purchasing power, our clients have had to cut costs to survive and so marketing communication budgets are the first casualties and that is the space in which we operate. Clearly, it looks like there is no silver lining in the horizon for us.”

He, however, gave some assurance that “history has shown that the worst times could actually be the best times for those who are ready to change with the times,” and explained that the present situation called for more thought leadership and creativity in order to weather the storm and soar high like the Eagle.

“This is not the end. If anything else, it could just be the begging for those who will retool their business models as they take some learnings from the bad situation to bring out something good and great out of it. It shall be well,” he philosophized.

He went on to enumerate some of the achievements of the association during his reign as president.”Within these four years of leadership, we have been able to record some modest achievements by the grace of God in spite of the numerous challenges that we faced both in the country and the industry. We made sure that more concrete structures were established and the executive council became more mobile. More members accredited as efforts were also made at creating more awareness for MIPAN and the advertising industry felt more impact of the association.

“During the period under review also, more of our people got invited by APCON to sit at her council and some of her panels/committees with a lot of respect by industry stakeholders. We have been able to set clear-cut standards for MIPAN. The association within this period became more vibrant, dynamic in its activities and noticeable in the industry thereby pushing it a notch higher than ever.

“This is also the period that we started elections of executive council based on the adopted MIPAN Constitution when the current executive council members were voted into office for the first term of two years and re-elected in 2018 for another term which has now ended.

“Within this period also, we ensured that all our standing committees became effective in their activities. I must mention here particularly that our Technical Committee has been working assiduously for the past three years to birth a new Media Audience Measurement system. While everything seem to be on course, an agreeable funding model has been the area of contention among the stakeholders. However, it is my hope that the issue will soon be sorted out as the Federal Government has set up a committee on the issue involving all stakeholders in the industry to address. I am happy to report that they have received a proposal document from MIPAN to guide their deliberations on this. Our Tolu Ogunkoya is also a member of the committee.

“The Exco also under my leadership felt the need to reward excellence in our industry. While this is a great idea, we didn’t just want to do it like the others in the advertising industry. We thought of doing it differently, hence we have set up a Media Awards Committee which has started work but will be submitting a report to the new Exco.”

On the way forward for the association, Dr. Ken agreed that there was still much to be done. He said they still had some key issues like quackery in the industry; unprofessional and sharp practices that still need to be addressed; ensuring that they bring more agencies into their fold; making more revenue for the association to be able to purchase landed property and getting an official car for the use of the Secretariat, among other things.

Executive secretary’s overview

Also at the AGM, the executive secretary, Eki Adzufeh, gave an overview of the association, tracing it’s early beginning to the present state. He mentioned some of the key milestones in the life of the association and the invaluable contributions of past presidents and their executive councils and committees.

The secretary, in projecting into the future, mentioned some things that needed to be looked at for the association to progress. He mentioned these things to include finances, website, official car for the association, Annual Directors’ Circle and Alphabet Media Academy.

He lamented the apathy of members, especially heads of member agencies, to the activities of the association, and called for a change of attitude. “We need a sincere change of attitude towards the issues and activities of the association by many of our members, especially the heads of our agencies.

“We must all take ownership of the association and be more interested in its growth and success as we would like it to be. In most cases people in the hem of affairs in our agencies show some high level lack of interest in the things of the association. This is usually reflected in their responses to calls by the association in some urgent and serious matters. It is my sincere hope that things will change for the better going forward.”