Mr. Sam Agbe is the chairman advertising practitioners Association Abuja Chapter. In an Exclusive \chat with Unity Times Emmanuel Daudu, he bore his mind on the state of advertising profession in Nigeria, how his organization started and the challenges faced so far.
Can you please tell us a brief history of APAAC?
APAAC like any other association, spring up based on the necessity for members to come together, interact, and mutually defend their profession. Nigeria institute of public relation, for instance, have branches all over the country but because of the statutory function of APCON (Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria) our members were not given opportunities and we felt APCON is the regulatory body and is the big umbrella. We felt that APCON was not enough, so we decided to get a platform where members can actually interact on the security and the future of their profession with a legal backing, to avoid maltreatment of clients and customers becoming victims of fraud through the platform of advertising. We also felt that time has come for the association to complement APCON as a body; it is time for members of the association to come together for mutual reasoning, all of these gave birth to APAAC.
When did the association kicks-up and how many members at its birth?
We were less than five. God have made me a hero if i must say for giving me the courage to stand against all circumstances and overcome at its birth, and today I Can say I initiated and started the association, but the truth of the matter remains that I was not the person that started it because it was existing for a while, before it slammed. Late Mr. lambert was a liaison officer of APCON in Abuja and as far back as 1996-1997 lambert brought people together and tried all they could to put it up but was discouraged via the circumstances and Martha Oyengbuche came to take over from him as a coordinator and she really worked hard.
Coming back to your question, our first meeting was held in no.5 industrial area close area 8, and gradually began growing in wings and bounce and today I can say in Abuja we are over 267 members.
What are the names of the five persons?
I was there, Sam, Martha, Ethel, Mercy, and Alui.
How was the association funded at inception?
We levy ourselves, even till now we still levy ourselves to offset our financial obligations.
What propel you to start up the association?
The society is dynamic because I am sure that what Abuja was then is different from what it is today; looking from the perspective of infrastructure and the economy. If we had the foresight then, we would have been owner of one of the biggest advertising outfit today because things were relatively cheap, accommodation was not a problem. So the period we came, we discovered that there are needs and these needs are our fuelling drive to be where we are today.
From your statement, you said “there are needs to achieve “, so what are the needs sir?
One of the first thing we wanted to achieve is the membership drive which is for us to be able to put ourselves together because there is value in identifying with each other as members of the same profession; we also wanted to live a legacy through publications and now we have a handbook and it can live after me and any other person, to also contribute to the polity and humanity. we are also at the verge of going into partnership with some media houses to come up with a program that would help in throwing more light in the profession of advertising, so that it would be a platform for people to share ideas, dialogue and come up with a resolution as to what can be done to move advertising from its present state to its next generational level, and also educate the practitioners the ethics and norms of advertising.
What benefits accrue to being a member of the association?
The benefits are not tied to monetary only but the membership has added value to your list of contact and friendship. After advertising, members can still have things in common and every member have been able to complement the mandate of APCON because we know that the organization can be able to do it on its own ,we have also been able to help corporate Affairs Commission to make sure that only viable practitioners are allow to practice. What APAAC dislikes is practicing without acquiring the necessary skills and knowledge.
I know too well that there are so many practitioners out there who are not certified practitioners but are still in the field work, what are the machineries put in place to address such situation?
You can’t run away from quakes, and that’s who they are irrespective of the perspective one looks at it. The law is actually there to get them.