The New World Order: Digital Transformation in Communication”


Brief Remarks by The Hon Minister Of Information And Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, at The Annual General Meeting of The Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN)

President of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria, Heads and representatives of member agencies, Invited Guests, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

  1. I am delighted to be able to join you at this annual general meeting of the AAAN and to have this opportunity to trigger a few reflections that I hope enriches your deliberation during this meeting. My presence here underscores the vital role and stature of the advertising industry to our economy, to our creative industries and to this government’s efforts at providing the enabling environment and regulatory tools necessary for sustained growth in every productive sector of the economy. We believe professional bodies such as the AAAN need the vital support of the government to be able to proffer the best, most effective and unique solutions for the unique challenges that confront our nation in these difficult times. The subject matter I have been asked to briefly comment on today is ‘The New World Order: Digital Transformation in Communication.’
  2. We live today in a world rapidly changing in its dynamics of opportunity and risks. Analytics have become the holy grail in many sectors of our economy. Advertising and brand marketing are of course prime examples of sectors where consumer data is critical. The success of many brands in the creative space internationally and here in Nigeria is a direct result of their engagement with their audiences.
    The same factors that have made this the best time for the economic exploitation of the creative sector are the same factors that have created a great deal of competition. It is also this new opportunity of talking directly with consumers in a data-enabled environment that has taken brands and entrepreneurs closer to their consumers more than ever before. The odds of success or solution to any challenge in this new world order is as high as our regard for the power of digital technology. And the entrepreneurial opportunities lying in wait at that crossroad between technology and the economy of sectors like advertising and brand communication is vast and you as industry leaders must continue to harness a variety of talents and competences to take maximum advantage of the opportunities presented. In the new world order technology is the insurgent. The vast array of new consumer engagement opportunities is the disruptive potential of the digital transformation in communication.
  3. That is why it has been a matter of national interest, and an important critical response for me, to personally convene the Ministerial Task Team on Audience Measurement System. My mandate to the Task Team, which has representation across all the relevant sub-sectors of the digital divide in consumer engagement and communication, is that necessary protocols must be initiated to give legal and constitutional framework to a national, systemic, accountable and data-driven understanding of the impact of communication on consumer behaviour. It is my desire that all the relevant parties are able to complete the tasks to achieve this mandate and we are able to initiate the legislative processes necessary before the terminal date of this administration in the first quarter of 2023.
  4. Along the same highway of new technologies and communication in this emerging world order is also a risk representing a clear and present danger against which I hope we can together identify strategies towards deterrence. Thanks to social media, more people than ever in human history have access to share their thoughts, likes, dislikes and interests globally. The digital world is interconnected globally and this has massive implications for all businesses, brands, economic sub-sectors and of course the security and well-being of a nation state like Nigeria. The potent impact of deliberate fake news, orchestrated disinformation and demarketing by unscrupulous and faceless purveyors online present huge risks to your work as brand communicators because it undermines the most critical ingredient to successful consumer engagement which is TRUST.
  5. We need you, as seasoned communicators and critical stakeholders, to also consider the roll-on effect of fake news and disinformation on the economy of advertising and brand marketing, both in the short and long term. It lays ambush on every brand promise and every potential argument you make to the benefit of your products and services. Our proposals to expand the economy of brand marketing through measurement systems will also be confronted by organic corruption in the absence of proactive ideas to limit the possibilities of it being negatively impacted. It is one important task I hope I can charge this distinguished gathering to consider with all seriousness and purpose.
  6. The context of digital is insurgent, but we must be vigilant to harness its power and purpose towards the economic empowerment and growth of our national interests and professional objectives.
  7. As many of you are aware, one of the bold and necessary steps we have taken in recent times is the approval of the ongoing reform initiatives of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON). The reform is aimed at strengthening the advertising ecosystem, encouraging inclusive growth as well as attracting investment to the industry.
  8. The advent of the internet and the new media, characterized with social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp etc., has revolutionized communication globally. All the major giant tech and primary digital media platform owners such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc have been exploring the Nigeria digital media space. In recent time, we have had meetings with some of the major tech giants who have shown interest in investing and exploring business opportunities in the Nigerian digital space. The Federal Government is committed to exploring all the opportunities offered by these techies for the benefit of our people
  9. Once again, I appreciate the opportunity of your invitation and I wish you all fruitful deliberations.
  10. Thank you.