Marketers ramp up push for recognition

Prosper Mentor Founder & CEO Topyster Muga (left), CEO of Marketing Society of Kenya Edward Oswe (center) and Marketing Society of Kenya Chairman Charles Kariuki (right). [James Wanzala, Standard]

State bureaucracy still stands in the way of the Marketing Society of Kenya (MSK) becoming a bona fide professional body, 60 years after its formation, stakeholders say.

But MSK Chairman Charles Kariuki says the lobby has redoubled efforts to gain formal recognition through a recently finalised draft bill.

"In terms of what we need to do to put MSK where it belongs, we started the process of getting the marketers' charter, and we have already done our MSK draft bill," said Mr Kariuki during the inaugural annual founders' dinner doubling up as MSK's 60th-anniversary celebration in Nairobi recently.

"We went around collecting views from marketers, and we got a lot of feedback and so we have the first draft ready. In fact, our plan was to have the charter ready by the end of this year, but because of politics, we had to wait for those in office to settle; we have taken the Bill to Parliament."

He said the draft Bill seeks the establishment of MSK as well as a board to provide for examination registration, the establishment of regulations and standards of practice for the marketing profession.

"The centre of this Bill is to ensure that the business fraternity can access the most competent marketing professionals. We want to get rid of quacks who have invaded our space," explained Mr Kariuki.

Veteran MSK founding members Vernon Ayton and Roger Steadman demonstrated how MSK has been instrumental in setting the pace for the marketing industry since its inception in 1962.

Dagoretti South MP John Kiarie pledged to push the MSK draft bill through the 13the Parliament.