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GENDER BALANCE IN NIGERIAN ADVERTISING AGENCIES: A STUDY OF SELECTED ADVERTISING AGENCIES IN LAGOS STATE, NIGERIA

 Format: MS-WORD   Chapters: 1-5

 Pages: 122   Attributes: COMPREHENSIVE RESEARCH

 Amount: 3,000

 May 30, 2019 |  12:45 pm |  1577

ABSTRACT

This study was designed to assess the gender balance is selected advertising agencies in Lagos State. In assessing the gender balance of Nigerian advertising agencies, the study addressed issues. The ratio of men to women, the criteria for recruitment within the advertising agencies, the kind of role played by both gender and the factors that affect the job performance of women in Nigerian advertising agencies. A sample of 490 respondents was taken for the study using multistep sampling technique. Systematic random sampling was first used after which the proportional sampling technique was applied. In the process of answering the research questions raised in the study, a questionnaire was structured to investigate the variables. After the data has been collected, it was analyzed using statistical package for social sciences version seventeen. The results from respondents were presented in table and percentages with accompanying figures where necessary. The result of the study indicates that men out numbered women with a percentage of 57 to 43 which leads to the ratio of 1.32 : 1. The study also found out that at the point of recruitment, advertising agencies consider factors which include age, gender, marital status, academic qualification, job experience and area of residence. Furthermore, the study shows that men out-numbered women in the creative departments of advertising agencies in Nigeria. More female presence was seen in the administrative department, marketing department, human resources department and surprisingly, technical/maintenance department. From the study, the factors that affect women include the following: team failure, personal distress, domestic and family responsibilities, pressure from opposite sex, managerial policies, technical faults and level of skills. Solutions were also proffered. These include but not limited to creating team along gender line, reduction in team size, constant staff training, modification of office policies, provision of state of the art equipment, improving work conditions and less family and domestic responsibilities. Based on these findings, recommendations were made. These recommendations range from recruiting more women in Nigerian advertising agencies to making improve and favourable office policies. The research work also made suggestions for further study.

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background of Study
Some observers, advertisers and creative artists are not yet clear as to the level of gender balance in advertising agencies. Past studies on gender representation in advertising agencies were mostly based in Europe, United States and Asia which findings cannot be generalized to developing climes such as Nigeria.
The process of advertising which goes from the advertiser to the advertising agency through the suppliers then to the media undergoes several sectional inputs. Just like most other endeavors, advertising is a process that involves different players. Different units contribute their quota to achieve advertisements. These units play individual but vital roles which are linked such that the absence of one affects the entire process or output. These players are the advertisers, the advertising agencies, the suppliers and the media. (Agbana, 2013, p.12).  Advertisers, according to Arens and Low (2008),  are companies, manufacturer, patenters, developers, firms or any outfit that has a product to advertise. They sponsor advertising for themselves and their products. Their sizes differ and range from small independent businesses to huge international multinational companies.
Next to the advertiser is the advertising agency. These are organizations that help advertisers produce their advertising copy. One may be curious over why a company will not just create their own advert copy by themselves and save costs or why an advertiser will rather use an agency over another despite the exorbitant bill of the former. According to the American Association of advertising agenscies, an advertising agency is an independent organization of creative people and business people who specialize in developing and preparing marketing and advertising plans, advertisements and other promotional tools. Usually, they harness different categories of creative individuals, to carry out the production process for advert copies. By what services they offer, advertising agencies are grouped into full service agencies and specialized service agencies. (Agbana, 2013, p.13).
Advertising process involves an army of creative professionals. These professionals are specialists in a particular aspect of the advertising process; this however makes the job interesting. The input of an individual is never enough to get the copy to a desired destination. Just like manuscript needs to be proofread and edited back and forth until it is free of errors, so is advertising copy. The advertising process involves professionals like: graphic artist, public relations expert, marketing executive, illustrator, engineer, copywriter, artist, layout designer etc. (Agbana, 2013, p. 22). The advert copy begins from the minds of the advertisers through the office of the advertising agency and there is no doubt that the peculiarity of an advertising copy has great impact on both the product and the prospective consumers. That is why creative copy producers are needed in the industry. This leads us to the big question.
Why have we not begun to see a more equal ratio of successful and eminent women to men in the advertising agencies in Nigeria? Indeed, female advertising practitioners face low gender turnout, a situation which shouldn’t be obtainable in a progressive and liberal industry as advertising. It’s been observed that women do little or nothing in the advertising creation process. Instead, they are used as models for branding and brand product ambassadors and in some cases, they choose to play such roles.(Klein, 2000, p.67). Women are underrepresented in many fields of applied creative services. (Hill & Johnson, 2003, p.81). It is worthy to note at this point that females are underrepresented in advertising agencies in Spain by a ratio of 2:3 to 1. (Kaseyz,  2008, p.4). Karen and Kasey (2011) depicts this by saying that
Mostly, well-dressed male writers and art directors sat in their offices for days and brainstormed ideas, typed pithy headlines, and designed ads with press type, Spray-Mount, and foam core boards. Once the client bought an idea, they turned concepts into print ads and television commercials, often involving location shooting, weeks at the Beverly Hills Hotel, and long nights splicing film in editing rooms. The Don Draper model also reveals a bit about the boys' club culture that has dominated advertising creative departments. Based on foreign studies that was conducted, the creative departments shows the lowest female participation while on the other hand, women seems to outnumber men in the accounts and other media departments. (p.33).
According to Natalia (2010, p.64), there is this trend of vertical and horizontal segregation in the occupational structure of the advertising industry as women are barely involved in the advertising creation process. A decade ago, an article titled babes in boyland appeared in the creative world and the question asked was why there are so few women in the advertising agency workforce?
Although female representation in advertising agencies have been a mainstream topic in historical account of advertising throughout the twenty-first century, academic research has not given comparable attention to the subject. (Mallia, 2006, p.9). Existing literatures reveal that there is a small number of works on the representation of women and men in the process of advertising production. This is in contrast to what happens in the journalistic sector where in recent years, communicators and sociologists have examined other areas of communication. Up till this day, academics have done little or nothing in studying and examining the structure of workforce in the commercial communication sector and more so, from a gender perspective.
It is for these reasons that this work has set out to ascertain the degree of gender balance within the advertising agency occupational structure in Nigeria.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
It has been observed that there is a gap in existing literatures with regards to feminism in advertising profession and the issue of female representation in creative departments of contemporary advertising agencies. According Aurora and Teresa (2011,p. 9), there is a small number of works on the representation of women and men in the process of advertising production. While there is a significant volume of research in other areas of media studies, there are relatively few studies that have systematically examined the relationship between the gender of media producers and the type of media content they produce.
 In the words of Kivikuru, (2000, p. 33), this situation is different from what happens in the journalistic sector where in recent years communicators and sociologists have examined other aspects of social concern. Up to this day, in Nigeria, academics have not studied the structure or work force of the commercial communication sector and much less from a gender perspective.  It is therefore pertinent to carry out a study on advertising copy production from a gender perspective.
It is also disheartening to note that women are not part of the process of making something essentially targeted to them since they are often times responsible for making purchasing decisions. For instance, the way in which male and female roles are presented in advertisements, reflects the traditional notion of gender, where women are dominated by men. Women are often times portrayed as sex tools, which are at their best when relegated to the home front as house wives and home managers while their male counterparts are portrayed as domineering and goal oriented beings with a formal corporate image. According to a Canadian communication theorist, Marshall McLuhan, the mass media not only gives people information and entertainment, it also affects people’s lives by shaping opinion, attitudes and beliefs. As a result of this, women are strongly portrayed stereotypically .Who said women are not creative? If women played active role in the creative process of copy production and advertising creation, they would have gone a long way in recreating the slanted views of the world towards women. Perhaps, it might not have happened in the first place. By contributing their quota and playing active participatory role in the advertising creation process, the world may begin to witness and view a more realistic advertisement that not only portrays the right views about women but also assigns contextual roles to both genders as is obtainable.
It is also necessary that research be carried out to help determine a valid ratio of men and women within the creative departments of advertising agencies within Nigeria. Also, the advertising industry in Nigeria lacks an official labor record of the sex ratio of advertising workers. Little attention has been paid to gender structure in the advertising sector workforce. Mallia, (2006, p.2), suggests that there is important data of the advertising industry which is absent and almost impossible to obtain. Employment records indicating exactly how many men and women are employed, at what level and what role they play.  So, access to quantitative data on the advertising occupation structure is very limited and detailed data about its gender structure is hardly available. Therefore this work is set to research into the gender distribution of workers within advertising agencies in Nigeria and their roles.

1.3 Objectives of the Study
The general objective of this work is to evaluate gender balance in Nigerian advertising agencies particularly in those agencies in Lagos State. Specifically, the research aimed at ascertaining the followings:
1.    To determine the ratio of women in relation to men who are involved in advertising production in Nigeria.
2.    To examine the criteria that determines the recruitment of staff within advertising agencies in Nigeria.
3.    To determine the kind of roles played by both gender in the different departments of advertising agencies in Nigeria.
4.    To determine factors that affect job performance of women in advertising agencies in Nigeria.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions were carefully derived from the above objectives of the study.
1.    What is the ratio of men in relation to women in advertising agencies in Nigeria?
2.    What are the factors that determine the recruitment of staff within advertising agencies in Nigeria?
     3.  What is the kind of roles played by both gender in the different departments of advertising agencies in Nigeria
4. What are the factors that affect job performance of women in the creative departments    of advertising agencies in Nigeria?
1.5 Significance of the study
          It is obvious that this will be significant to various categories of people such as media and advertising practitioners in Nigeria, government agencies, researchers, academicians, and the society at large.
              Academically, the study opens a new thought on gender configuration of advertising agencies in Nigeria. Analyzing the gender structure in the advertising industry is especially important now that gender based issues are always in contention. It stands to fill in the gap in existing literature. Also worthy to note is that the outcome of this study will also serve as a reference material to students, lecturers and researchers. It can also propel further studies.
               As stated earlier, the advertising industry in Nigeria lacks an official labor record of the gender ratio of advertising professionals and this study will serve as a reference point for that. It will indicate exactly the ratio of women to men who are employed at the different levels within the different departments of advertising agencies.
1.6 Scope of the study
The scope of this study is the whole of Lagos State.      This State is located within the Western part of the country. This will form the geographical scope of the study.
1.7 Operational definition of terms
Evaluation: There are many definitions of evaluation in the literature and websites. An evaluation should be structured so that there is some thought and intent as to what is to be captured, how best to capture it, and what the analysis of the captured data will tell us about the project. Evaluation has been defined as the systematic and scientific process of determining the extent to which an action or set of actions were successful in the achievement of predetermined objectives. (WHO , 1969).
Gender: According to Marriam-Webster, gender can be defined as a subclass within a grammatical class of a language that is partly arbitrary but also partly based on distinguishable characteristics as shape, social rank, manner of existence, or sex and that determines agreement with and selection of other words or grammatical forms
Balance: This came from the latin word bi lanc meaning a state of equilibrium or equipoise; equal distribution of weight, amount, etc. it can also mean a state in which different things occur in equal or proper amounts or have an equal or proper amount of importance.
Advertising Agency: According to the American Association of advertising agencies, an advertising agency is an independent organization of creative people and business people who specialize in developing and preparing marketing and advertising plans, advertisements and other promotional tools. Usually, they harness different business people and creative people to carry out the production process for advert copies.
   
REFERENCES
Agbana, O, (2013). Advertising layouts and design. Kogi State University, Ayingba. Unpublished work.
American Academy of Advertising (2007), An exploration into the representation of female creatives in today's advertising agency: Burlington, VT.
Arens, W, &  Bovee C.(1994), Contemporary advertising.  Irwin Publishing, Burrwood, IL.
Aurora, V & Teresa, M, (2011) The representation of gender roles in the media  - an analysis of gender discourse in sex and the city movies
Hill, R, & Johnson, L. (2003), When creativity is a must: Professional ‘applied creative’ services.  Creativity and innovation management, Vol. 12 No. 4, 221–229.
Kasey W. (2008), Proportional representation and regulatory focus: The case for cohorts among female creatives. University of Texas. Austin
Kasey, W (2011) What’s in a number? Minority status and implications for creative professional’s creativity.  Research Journal, 23(4), 321–329, 2011.
Institute of practitioners in advertising. (2000), Women in advertising: 10 years on: Klein D.
Karen L. & Kasey W.(2011). Will changing media change the world? An exploratory investigation of the impact of digital advertising on opportunities for creative women. Journal of Interactive Advertising.
Mallia, K (2008). The midcareer vanishing act: A qualitative examination of why so few women become advertising creative directors. Association for education in journalism and mass communication, Chicago
Mallia, K (2009). Rare breeds: Why so few women become ad agency creative directors. Advertising & Society Review.
Mallia, K (2006). Why not the best?: Women scarce when adweek ranks the best creative. Association for education in journalism & mass communication, advertising division, San Francisco, GA
Natalia P (2010), Sex structure of occupations in the advertising industry: Where are the female ad practitioners?  Observatorio Journal, vol.4 - no3.


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