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There are numerous advertising firms in Jamaica, showing that the sector is large enough to support several specialised firms and the outsourcing of both marketing and advertising services. PR services tend to be in-house although some PR and communications firms do exist.
Professional training courses are available in the country in both higher education establishments such as the University of Technology, Jamaica as well as less formal independent courses. The Public Relations Society of Jamaica is the principal industry body operating in the PR sector and the Advertising Agencies Association of Jamaica is the main industry body for advertisers in the country.
In 2008, two of the country’s biggest outdoor advertising firms were merged to form National Outdoor Advertising Ltd (NOA). At the time the outdoor advertising sector accounted for 10% of all advertising business and the takeover and merger made NOA a key player in the industry. Prominent advertising firms and winners of the 2012 Advertisers Appreciation Award include Prism Communications Ltd and a leading marketing firm, The Marketing Counsellors Ltd.
In terms of supply and demand indicators, Jamaican marketers offer a service which is broadly in line with world averages according to the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report (2012-2013). For extent of marketing, Jamaica scores 4.1 out of a possible 7, the same as the world mean of 4.1 which places it 68th out of 155 countries worldwide. This shows that advertisers and marketers in Jamaica use moderately sophisticated marketing tools and techniques. In terms of extent of market dominance which shows the extent to which corporate activity is dominated by a small number of large firms with a high score of 7 indicating that it is spread among many firms, Jamaica scores 3.9, just above the world mean of 3.8 and in 52nd position out of 155 countries. This moderate level of competition and sophistication of advertising techniques is reflected in demand in the Jamaican market; buyers place almost equal emphasis on price and product performance. Jamaica scores 3.3 for buyer sophistication, slightly below the world average of 3.5 and in 85th place.
Print advertising in Jamaica’s press remains an important part of the marketing and advertising business in the country despite new media channels opened up by the internet. In 2008 it accounted for a significant 40% of all advertising and marketing business. Internet advertising on their online news sites is also a significant factor for both business and private classified advertisements.
There are several commercial television and radio stations in Jamaica. One of the most established radio and television corporations, RJR, offers internet advertising on the websites of all of its associated channels. However due to the proliferation of free cable services, there are fears that the impact of advertising relevant to the Jamaican audience will be diluted by the interception of US and other international channels.
Due to technological advances, 55% of Jamaicans now have access to the internet according to the 2011 Internet World Stats findings. Marketing, advertising and PR companies have not been slow to services.