Practitioners chart course for new APCON chair

Advertising practitioners have urged the newly appointed Chairman of Chairman of Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) Udeme Ufot to build on the reform programme pursued by his predecessor, Lolu Akinwunmi.

The stakeholders who commended the appointment of Ufot, describing it as ‘well deserved,’ want him to build on the reforms initiated by his predecessor, Lolu Akinwunmi.

The role of the Chairman of APCON includes sitting on the board of body saddle with the responsibility of regulating advertising practice in Nigeria.

One of them, MD of DP Partnership, a leading advertising agency, Odun Fadoju, said “ It is a welcome development. It is better to have a practitioner who understands the industry as the head of the council.”

On the industry’s expectations from the new APCON Chiarman, Fadoju said, “ I hope that he continues to work on the reform programme. He should continue the good work started by Lolu Akinwunmi.”

Although, industry stakeholders want a continuation of the Akinwunmi reforms, they would like the new helmsman to take a few steps backward on the issue of the protectionist aspect of the reforms in the face of the globalization of advertising business practice around the world.

Ufot, the MD, SO& U and one of the highly revered figures in the advertising industry in Nigeria last week, landed appointment as the new Chairman of APCON, a highly coveted top job that any accomplished advertising practitioner could ever wish for. Not due to pecuniary rewards per se, but for the prestige attached to the position which has seemly been reserved for notable practitioners who have held forte as President of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria(AAAN), the umbrella body for advertising practitioners in the country..

As the tagline of a Guinness advert (which was incidentally created by his company), rightly stated ‘Udeme is a great man.’ With his latest appointment, the Ahmadu Bello University Art& Design graduate has got to the creme of his career as an accomplished ad man, having achieved greatness from working hard at his passion- from bottom to the top.

Like his precedecessors, Ufot who started out his career in advertising at Desmarck Advertising and later joined Insight Communications where he rose to Deputy Art Director before setting up his own company, SO&U(which was formed from the initials of his partners- Gbemi Sajay, Julia Oko and Udeme Ufot) has held position as the President of AAAN.

Ascension to the Chairman of Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria of APCON for years have been more like leadership by the oldest with the likes of Sir I.S. Moemeke and Chief Olu Falomo who were former AAPN(now AAAN) Presidents holding the position at some point. Although the emergence of late May Nzeribe as third Chairman disrupted the trend, Chris Doghudje who became the fourth Chairman followed the tradition. While Lolu Akinwunmi, MD, Prima Garnet, an obviously young departure from the old guards served as the fifth Chairman of the regulatory body. Ufot fits the bill as the bridge between the ancient and modern.

From his antecedents as leader of various interest groups both within and outside advertising and given that is a gifted listener, Ufot has no choice than to succeed in his new post. He has promised that he would engage industry stakeholders to chart a course of his administration. Ours is to keep a watch on the watchman.