What today has metamorphosed into OAAN was OACAN-Outdoor Advertising Contractors Association of Nigeria, born in 1964 with the primary objective of constituting a body to deal with the Government.
Since only two outdoor companies existed then big advertisers were brought in to strengthen the body and equip it with more clout. This association remained the official mouth-piece of the Outdoor Media until a later day with the birth of other outdoor operators; NAS, PAN WILMER, GILBERTSON, GREENLAND, etc., and the eventual withdrawal of non-outdoor members.
The most significant contribution of OACAN to the development of Outdoor Advertising was its strong representation to government as input to the Advertising Bye-Law promulgated by the Lagos City Council in 1965. This is the Bye-Law that has since been adapted wither in whole or with modifications by all the Local Government in Nigeria.
Today’s OAAN has grown in stature and expanded its scope beyond the single objective of meeting government on regulations that might be inimical to the growth and practice of the industry.
Lack of dedication from most members almost brought the association down. It was difficult to instill discipline due to self-centeredness and lack of trust in one another. Irresponsible placing of boards and utter disregard for the dictates of the association led to a cluster and eventual clamp down by the State Government. The aftermath resulted in a decimation of membership to a meager 10. Faithless members gave way to despair. Some threw in the towel, but happily others trudged and faced the problem head on. The government had to be met. Dialogue was the answer. And so, to the negotiating table for 18 months. Luckily, the association was armed with the relevant wherewithal for such intricate negotiations. Professionals from various fields were contracted by OAAN to present position papers. APCON was our staunch support.
OAAN has set up structures made up of specific committees to control the practice of outdoor advertising nationwide with special attention to Lagos State. About 95% of the billboards in Lagos are all-steel even in the other States. A register of members has been opened and a close monitoring system put in place to ensure adherence to OAAN’s code of practice and conditions as enshrined in the Association’s Constitution.
Our goal in our march to the 21st Century
In addition to constantly looking for new ways, new forms and new structures to the outdoor medium to ascertain freshness, relevance and creative visibility, we are working assiduously towards impeccable professionalism. We aim to weed out non professionals or charlatans. Train and re-train our members in educative seminars, workshops and refresher courses. Promptly respond to clients’ requests.
These will be complemented with better arrangement of sites, lighting of boards, regular monitoring, effective maintenance proper and more efficient spacing to avoid clustering, plus regular research and due attention paid to the environment. It is pertinent to mention that our quest for new ideas have to a large extent been greeted with success in revolutionary hoardings-4-sheet, Timad, Rooftop, Directional Streets, Airport Advertising, Spectacular, with the industry having today latest technique in outdoor Advertising which is LED/Digital billboard with very facility and appealing forms.