Advertising doyen and Chairman of Troyka Holdings, Mr. Biodun Shobanjo, has urged the Lagos State Signage and Advertising Agency (LASAA) to stop operating as a competitor within the industry stating that it is making the practice of outdoor advertising difficult for practitioners.
He made this statement while delivering his goodwill message at the just concluded Africa Sign Expo Conference and Exhibition. The 3-day event, which aimed at highlighting and discussing innovations cum best practices within Africa’s outdoor advertising industry, was held at the Eko Hotel Convention Centre, Victoria Island.
Shobanjo made it clear that some of LASAA’s operations are directly competing with practitioners within the industry and has succeeded in preventing the industry from being a level playing field for Out-Of-Home (OOH) practitioners within the state.
It will be recalled that before the establishment of LASAA, the OOH sphere in Lagos could be best described as haphazard. It was characterized by arbitrary erection of billboards and unregulated pasting of posters. However, with the introduction of LASAA, sanity was restored to the industry. The body was saddled with the responsibility of regulating (OOH) while sanitizing practitioners on ethics and acceptable practices in the industry.
As a sign of its commitment to this mission, LASAA, within weeks of inception, clamped down on offenders operating within the sphere. Several OOH sites, which were arbitrarily erected and posed danger to residents and commuters within the area, were demolished. According to a report culled from DailyPost, the sanitization project threatened greatly the N80 billion industry but nevertheless, it positively changed the face of outdoor advertising within the state. The agency also took ownership of some boards within the state and has so far introduced creativity and innovation in the industry.
However, it seems the agency’s role has been diversified from being a regulatory body to operating as a competitor, judging by Shobanjo’s claim. Practitioners are doing their best to surpass the agency’s achievements, while adhering to laid down rules.
Shobanjo also expressed his disapproval of the merger between all advertising regulatory bodies in the country stating that the proposed Outdoor Advertising Regulatory Association of Nigeria (OARAN) spearheaded by LASAA is similar to the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) which failed to make little or no impact in the way local governments are managed in the country.
In response, Mr. George Noah, MD LASAA, explained that OARAN is necessary because “outdoor advertising regulatory bodies are faced with similar challenges, including the decline of out of home advertising spending due to competition from internet, radio and TV adding that the proposed association would help promote sustainable economic growth in a vibrant outdoor advertising sector across the country.