Advertising is the method of passing messages about services and products with the aim to persuade and inform prospective customers to make purchases. The history of advertising dates back 2500 years when utilization of traditional methods dominated the field.
Nigeria’s advertising dates its existence back to the colonial period in 1928, after the establishment of West African Publicity Limited, a company set up primarily to fulfill marketing needs for Nigerian and West African colonizers. By 1929, the enterprise went ahead to become an advertising firm known as Level International Advertising Services (LIAS), encompassing subsidiaries namely newly Afromedia, and Pearl/Dean. The colonizer’s control of these countries put this company at an advantage of enjoying a monopoly of the market. However, by 1950s, all these changed through the inception of more advertising agencies.
During the years before 1950, the world of advertising struggled to develop roots in Nigeria.The struggles developed due to lack of coordination and regulation, attributed to the failure of the Law to enforce the set-out codes of conducts. Also, the flooding of the market with many advertisements from foreign companies, whose products were unaffordable to the majority of the citizens, made it impossible for locals to penetrate the industry.
As the years went by, advancement in technology saw the field change through its incorporation of increased advertisements from international companies. These companies opened up subsidiary production factories in the country, thereby pushing the need for organized and useful advertisements communicated through various Medias. Hence, the only Federal Government television station, the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) began facing competition from 1960 to 1962 from private stations set up in all regions from Ibadan, Enugu, and Kaduna. Moreover, as the then general’s created more regions and states, they coincided with the creation of more state-owned television and radio stations. Newspaper and magazine publishing companies also came up during this period. These included Daily Times, Express, Tribune, New Nigeria, and Drum magazine among others.
In 1972, the advertising enterprise got a significant boost through the promulgation of the Indigenization policy Decree. The policy led to the transformation of several key positions in commercial organizations into indigenes with Mr. Silvester, Moemeka as the chief executive. As the forerunner, he empowered more Nigerians to engage in the advertising business. In the same decade, Rosabel Advertising and Insight communication companies joined the industry, introducing new ideas and creativity that further developed the industry. To ensure success and achieve sanity, advertising agencies held a meeting in Lagos and established an association in 1973. The Association of Advertiser’s Practitioners of Nigeria (AAPN), whose primary aim was to protect its members from unfavorable businesses.
By 1980, scores of people had joined the advertising industry. The progress saw the formation of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria by the 1988 Declaration 5. The establishment of this regulating body made it the primary regulatory body for all advertising practices in Nigeria. Its mandate stretched to determining advertisers, outlining the standards of knowledge and skills that each practitioner required to receive certification and maintaining advertisers’ register. The Council began its work in 1990 and led the industry through significant reorganization and liberalization, opening Nigeria to the world. Foreign investors, among them former colonizers came back fostering an economic boost. Moreover, the privatization of mass communication saw avenues of advertising develop such as private media houses.
In the late 1990’s, the sector saw expansion into public relations and foreign affiliations that made the sector all-inclusive. Competition characterizes the industry to date, attracting advancement in training and creativity to maintain their existence in the industry. In 1992 October, the establishment of Advertisers Association of Nigeria has been bringing advertisers and clients together to promote the country’s business community.