At the recently concluded ADVAN Industry Dialogue, the agency operators represented by Kayode Oluwasona, President, AAAN, Steve Babaeko, CEO, X3M Ideas and Lanre Adisa, CEO, Noah’s Ark, the group urges for departure from the master-servant relationship as the industry moves to uncharted territory. Sounding off the needful, Steve explains that the issues started off by the regulators are “same old primordial issues”. For him, “we are going into an uncharted territory, the old ‘Tom & Jerry’ relationship will not work because it dissipates energy. Co-creation is going to be the next step”, he counsels.

Aligning his thought with the former speaker, the AAAN president notes that the industry is a tripod, “It can only succeed if we worked together”. There is an absolute need for collaboration as “knowledge is low, respect has gone down, therefore, all of us must come together to move the industry forward”, he reasons. Similarly, Adisa hinges his submission on co-creation as the way to go. He draws copious examples from his relationships with different clients revealing that positive turnarounds are results of mutual cooperation. “We were doing all we could but a certain brand didn’t really excite us. Just a little tweak on the side of a client side same brand started recording outstanding results”

Playing the devil’s advocate, Victor Jolaoso, Marketing Communications & Research Manager, Nigerite, holds that agencies’ accounts management teams might be responsible for the lackluster relationships between agencies and clients hence, he advises adequate training going forward. Similarly, succession plans need be taken seriously, “efforts need to be put into human capital development”.

Speaking in the same vein, Bukonla Oluyadi, Head, Brand Management, First Bank observes that from pitch to implementation, thoroughness and quality control are critical factors to bring about the much desired mutually respectable and rewarding client-agency relationships.