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There are a limited number of advertising and marketing companies in operation in Lesotho. The pan-African agency Alliance Media operates in the country, based from their office in Maseru. Alongside this local firms include Flextek Advertising and Lesotho Ads. The Lesotho campus of the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology offers a degree in advertising.
The undeveloped nature of the advertising and marketing sector in Lesotho is reflected in its standings in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report (2012-13). In terms of the extent of marketing it scored considerably below the world mean of 4.1, with a value of 2.8 out of 7, placing it 131st out of 144 countries. This indicates that companies in the country are unlikely to use sophisticated marketing and tools and techniques regularly. Lesotho ranked slightly higher in relation to buyer sophistication, coming 110th out of 144 countries. It was given a value of 3.0 out of 7, compared to the world mean of 3.5, suggesting buyers are more likely to make purchasing decisions based solely on lowest price than on a sophisticated analysis of performance attributes.
The media in Lesotho was adversely affected civil turmoil in the late 1990s, and independent press in particular struggled to maintain advertising. The recovery has seen progress in advertising constrained by a reduced readership and increase in cost of printing, yet it remains an important segment of the sector. The government decision in 2005 to withdraw advertising from broadcasters caused financial problems particularly for private media outlets. In 2007 the government ordered all state and parastatal agencies not to buy any more advertising space from Public Eye, the most widely read independent paper, causing serious problems as 85% of the paper’s revenue comes from advertising.
Billboards and outdoor advertising remain a significant part of the sector. They are found across the country from the capital of Maseru to many of the smaller towns and rural areas.