Steve Babaeko
Steve Babaeko

Mr. Steve Babaeko, president of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN), says a soon-to-be-launched academy is crucial to the survival of the advertising sector.

In February, AAAN had announced a partnership with Henley Business School, Africa, to launch Ad Academy— a virtual hub where the next generation of creatives will be birthed and nurtured.

According to Babaeko, the idea of the academy was first introduced during the tenure of Biodun Shobanjo, the past president of the association.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

He said the objective of the academy is to train the next crop of advertising entrepreneurs, adding that students would benefit from a diverse pool of courses ranging from business administration, creativity, and brand management.

“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 Ad Academy that edge,” Babaeko said.

“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 Ad Academy is to groom the next generation of Advertising entrepreneurs. This is where Henley comes in with their robust business curriculum.”

He further explained that the association is working on securing an Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) accreditation for the Ad Academy.

The AAAN president noted that the academy will fully begin operations by the first quarter of 2022.

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