G. Kofi Annan on Mainstream Advertisers Ignoring the African Markets
G. Kofi Annan on Advertisers Ignoring Africa.
Posted by beninmwangi on April 29th, 2007
A few minutes ago I came across a post on Kofi’s blog entitled, “African’s Aren’t Affluent Enough” this post challenged me personally to do more to help “update” public perceptions of Africa.
Here is an excerpt:
“…I was speaking to an acquaintance last week and she told me a story about trying to get advertisers for her magazine. She had contacted a large Africa-based corporation to see if they would be interested in taking up an ad in her publication. After getting the runaround, the ad agency, which was handling the ad placements for the corporation, told her, “We only place ads in publications with an affluent readership…”
I have to admit the first time I read this post, my initial reaction was anger at the company who chose to reject the magazine’s ad proposal. Incidentally, my gut feeling is that I may know the magazine that Kofi is talking about and if it is so, the magazine that Kofi mentions is very well put together. This makes the idea of a flat-handed rejection even more upsetting. However, after re-thinking it my feeling is simply that we bloggers, writers, journalists, business people, and etc. must do a better job at publicizing the facts about Africa. So, yes, while this story illustrates how close minded some companies can be; it also reinforces the necessity of appealing to specific needs of companies or people that we make presentations too (i.e. the what’s in it for me factor). If we are trying to pitch Africa and yet are unable to answer this question, then unfortunately the outcome might be the same as the one that Kofi describes.
If the magazine caters to a Diaspora based African audience, perhaps the facts that follow might be help illustrate that the magazine does cater to an affluent audience:
# Foreign Direct Investment flows into the African continent are US$ 300b and 15 % of that or US$45b is the remittance from Africans abroad( in the Diaspora).
# Over 30% of the Diaspora remitters are sending over $300.00 to to their respective countries in Africa each month.
Or perhaps mention of the education levels of African migrants living in the States or in Europe. Schaumberg Center for Research in Black Culture says of African immigrants in America:
“…Besides their “migration experience,” the most significant characteristic of the African immigrants is that they are the most educated group in the nation…”
At any rate, I think that this post by Annansi Chronicles is writing at it’s best and applaud Mr. Annan for telling the story of this publisher and prospective advertiser. My message to the publisher is if at first you don’t succeed try, try again! My advice would be to continue learning your market and honing your message so that it aptly communicates that you are the solution to your prospects problems.