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In Memoriam: Remembering Icons of the Nigerian Marketing Industry lost in 2023

The year 2023 marked a somber period for the marketing and advertising industry in Nigeria as it bid farewell to some of its most influential figures. These individuals, namely Abdul Kolawole Imoyo, Tolulope Ogunkoya, Kole Ademulegun, and Ekwunife Okoli, had a profound impact on the industry and left an indelible mark on advertising in Nigeria.

Abdul Kolawole Imoyo (Unknown – December 17, 2023):
Mr. Abdul Kolawole Imoyo, the former Head of Media Relations at Access Holdings and Publicity Secretary of the Association of Corporate Marketing Communications Professionals in Banks in Nigeria (ACAMB), passed away on December 17, 2023. His dedication and professionalism significantly contributed to Access Holdings’ communication strategies and public image. Colleagues, associates and the entire banking community will remember him for his invaluable contributions.

Tolulope Ogunkoya (December 12, 1966 – April 25, 2023):
Advertising expert Tolulope Ogunkoya, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Media Reach OMD, left an enduring legacy in the marketing communication industry. With 33 years of experience, Ogunkoya played a pivotal role in transforming media strategy, planning, buying, and implementation in Nigeria and the West African sub-region. His leadership at mediaReach OMD introduced groundbreaking initiatives, including the Nigerian Media Facts Book in 2001, which became an industry bible.

Ekwunife Okoli (1957–2023):
Until his passing, Mr. Ekwunife Okoli served as the Founder/CEO of Advantage Consult Ltd. With over 30 years of experience in the consumer goods industry across numerous African countries, including Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Angola, and Mozambique, Okoli held executive and non-executive board positions in various Diageo publicly quoted subsidiaries. A recipient of the MARKETING EDGE Lifetime Marketing Achievement Award, Okoli was known for his insights on consumer behavior, the importance of innovation, and the alignment of value and cost offerings.

Kole Ademulegun (1953 – 2023):
Kole Ademulegun, the Partner/Founder and Vice Chairman at MediaLink Ltd, left an indelible mark on the advertising industry. As a Fellow of the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON), two-term past president of the Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria (OAAN), and council member of APCON, Ademulegun played a pivotal role in advocating for the industry’s interests. His fight against challenges faced by the industry, such as the face-off with the Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA), showcased his dedication to the profession.

The year 2023 saw the departure of these industry icons, each leaving behind a legacy that will continue to shape the future of marketing and advertising in Nigeria. As the industry mourns their loss, their contributions and impact will be celebrated for years to come.

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