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General News Tue, 31 Jan 2006

Managers accused of tacking "Kickbacks"

Accra, Jan. 31 GNA - Mr Francis Dadzie, a Marketing Consultant, on Tuesday accused Marketing and Production Managers of corporate bodies of demanding and taking kickbacks from advertising companies for the award of contracts.

"They demand huge packages and other favours, which you must obliged or go through frustrating techniques to obtain the contract or prepare for delays in payment after executing the job," he said, stressing, "the time has come for Marketing Managers to stop demanding money from advertising agencies, this breeds corruption in the industry."

Mr Dadzie was speaking at the Student Representative Council week celebration of the National Film and Television Institute (NAFTI) in Accra under the theme, "The Role of Television as a Marketing Tool". He explained that the Managers employed various tactics including delaying the award of contracts, manipulating the advertisers "to sing their song or no contract," influencing professional direction of the adverts and dictating the content of the advert.

The demands by Marketing and Production managers according to Mr Dadzie took place on the blind side of Managements, as they served as the linkage between the advertising company and the Management. Some Advertising Companies Ghana News Agency (GNA) talked to admitted the allegations but refused to comment further. Reacting to the allegation, top Marketing Managers at various companies the induce the Managers to give them contracts.

In soliciting for the advertising contracts, some advertisers make all forms of offers in kind or cash to influence the awarding officers, the Marketing Managers alleged.

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Mr Anthony Safo, a Marketing Officer with a major transport company, said, "it is difficult for a Marketing Manager to demand grafting before or after awarding a contract as the process of awarding involves more than one person".

He said many companies had an advertising policy, which made it difficult for one person to accept a proposal and award a contract. "It is done collectively by a committee to avoid manipulation either from the advertiser or the marketing officer."

Mr Safo urged advertisers to exhibit professionalism to enhance the quality of adverts, stressing; "our advertising companies are refusing to invest in research into market trend in the country; undertake analytical study of products development and take advantage of the growth of information technology globally.

"We need to move from the Colonial mode of presenting an advert. The world is sophisticated now; marketing and promotional advertising are very crucial to business progress, whiles cost of adverts are expensive...we expect to get quality for money."

Other Marketing Managers GNA spoke to, expressed surprise about the allegation and challenged Mr Dadzie to come out with facts and names of officers, who made demands before or after awarding an advertising contract.

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Speaking on: "The Role of Television as a Marketing Tool," Mr Dadzie called on Ghanaian advertisers to invest in advertising research in order to come out with advertisement that met the standard and the needs of the consumers.

He said the proliferation of FM stations offered a challenge to advertisers in choosing which medium, programme, time and language to use to reach out to the target audience for optimum benefit. He, therefore, urged advertisers to make the right choice in terms of medium to advertise and the right people to advertise to. Mr Martin Loh, Director of the NAFTI, chaired the inaugural lecture, and urged the students to take advantage of the present advertising opportunity in the country.

He said today's global village demanded that the upcoming businessman became proactive in every field of endeavour. Other programmes lined up for the week celebration include; singles night; float; movie; time with accomplished film crew; food fair and a thanksgiving service. 31 Jan. 06

Source: GNA