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There is a large and developing marketing, advertising and PR industry in Namibia. In 2011 the international Internet Marketing Conference (IMC) was held in the Namibian capital Windhoek.
As well as a number of local firms including In Touch Media, there is some presence of the leading international firms in the country with five subsidiaries of WPP in Windhoek. DV8 Saatchi and Saatchi dissolved its partnership at the end of 2012 and the firm now operates locally as DV8 Namibia. The international Sub-Saharan outdoor advertising company Alliance Media also works in the country.
The main industry body in the field is the Advertising Association of Namibia, a voluntary self-regulatory body which promotes the development of the industry and compliance with International Code of Advertising Practice.
One institution in the country is affiliated to the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and offers CIM qualifications. Along with a number of other institutions, the Polytechnic of Namibia also runs several undergraduate and postgraduate courses in marketing and others also run advertising and PR courses.
In terms of supply and demand indicators, Namibian marketers offer a service which is slightly below world averages according to the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report (2012-2013). For extent of marketing, Namibia scores 3.7 out of a possible 7, below the world mean of 4.1 which places it 94th out of 144 countries worldwide. In this scale 1 indicates that companies use sophisticated marketing tools very little and 7, that they use them very extensively. This moderate level of sophistication of advertising techniques is reflected in demand in the Namibian market; buyers place almost equal emphasis on price and product performance. Namibia scores 3.5 for buyer sophistication, equalling the world average of 3.5 and in 65th place out of 144 countries.
The 1991 Namibian Broadcasting Corporation Act and the Namibian Communications Commission Act of 1992 led to de-regulation of the industry and a subsequent proliferation of commercial radio and television stations.
Newspaper adverts in the daily and weekly press remain popular the online editions of some of the country’s newspapers have classified advertisement sections and corporations can also buy advertising space.
Technology has changed the nature of the advertising landscape in the country and although social media has yet to become a specialised advertising industry. In 2012 10.88% of the population has a Facebook account. Other technological developments which have changed the nature of the advertising industry is the rapid uptake of mobile telephones with SMS advertising and notifications being a service offered by specialist agencies.