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Despite his billions, and also notwithstanding that some people can give an arm and a leg to work for him, Nigeria’s advertising icon, Biodun Shobanjo, has said that nothing will ever make him to work for billionaire mogul, Mike Adenuga Jr or any of his companies again.

Adenuga, by the way, is not only one of Africa’s richest men, he is also the owner of Glo, Conoil, etc.

Cover of The Will To Win
Shobanjo’s agency, Insight Communications, interestingly, had in the past worked for Adenuga’s defunct banks, Equitorial and Devcom. Likewise CIL and Glo. As a matter of fact, Insight was the first agency to really handle the Glo account. One of the unforgettable copies they crafted then was ‘People. Power. Possibilities’.

So, what went wrong? Shobanjo provided all the answers in ‘The Will To Win…The Story Of Biodun Shobanjo’, written by Dotun Adekanmbi, a former editor of Business Times and certified PR cum advertising practitioner.

In the 542-page biography, and specifically on pages 394 and 395, Shobanjo gave his reasons thus: “I thought what he (Adenuga) did was most unethical. All the people he recruited were those he interacted with in the period we used to look after his account. What that tells me is that it is dangerous working for him because if you expose your people to him, he entices them, which is totally unfair”.

Continuing, he added: “…I gave him all due courtesies as a client and he reciprocated. He gave us a free-hand; we had a wonderful relationship while it lasted. Till date, he remains my brother. But to work together, no”.

Shobanjo, who also made other startling revelations about Adenuga and many others in the gripping and sumptuously printed book, gave the names of some of those poached as Tunde Kaitell, hitherto an account manager (on the Glo business) with Insight Communications and Benedicta Upaa-Ayede, MD, TQC, a sister company. The latter’s exit, though, wasn’t immediate.

– Azuh Arinze

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