Adcademy will create next crop of advertising entrepreneurs — Steve Babaeko –


Steve Babaeko, President of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria, explains the Association’s partnership with the Prestigious Henley Business School on the Advertising Academy (Adcademy). Excerpts:

What informed the introduction of the AdCademy?
The idea of the Adcademy is a dream that’s about two decades in the making. If I am not mistaken, the idea was first mooted when Dr. Biodun Shobanjo was President of the AAAN. Even though I was just a junior creative then, I imagined that at the core of the idea was the imperative to broaden the talent pipeline of the industry and the need to also upskill existing talent pool of member agencies. That vision hasn’t changed even today. Rather, it has taken a much more urgent dimension because of the seismic shift caused by technology. This has totally disrupted many industries including ours. Thus, we have no choice than to launch the academy as part of our mid to long-term survival strategy.

What are the benefits of the partnership with Henley Business School?
First of all, I would like to appreciate the leadership of Henley Africa for catching the vision early and for partnering with AAAN. The benefits of the partnership with Henley are multi-dimensional, but I will highlight a few. As a global business institution with solid heritage, they provide a pool of world-class resource team to give the Adcademy that edge. Secondly, I have always felt that we have enough local experts to teach creativity, strategy and brand management, but I believe that we need to include business management because the goal of the Adcademy is to groom the next generation of Advertising entrepreneurs. This is where Henley comes in with their robust business curriculum.

This is a first of its kind with AAAN. What impact will the Adcademy have on the industry?
On behalf of the Executive Board of the AAAN, I can say boldly that we are very excited. The talent pool flowing into our industry will now be broader. Lately, the clients have poached a lot of our talents because they too are obviously faced with the dearth of well-trained talents. With the Adcademy, we can support the clients in training their junior talents too so it’s win-win all round.

What do the beneficiaries stand to gain with the Masterclass?
Exposure to some of the world’s best instructors. We have people like Prof. Moira Clark, Mr. Udeme Ufot, Mr. Femi Odugbemi, the APCON Registrar Dr. Lekan Fadolapo and lots more. It’s a packed masterclass and the participation fees is highly discounted because at this stage, we are all about capacity building.

What are the plans for the Academy going forward?
We will have three to five masterclasses before the last quarter of 2021 and by the first quarter of 2022, we will roll out the Adcademy full-time. We are currently working on APCON accreditation of the Adcademy certificate. This indeed a dream come true for our industry.



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