Advertising Professions and Territorial Attractiveness: Analysis of the Determinants of the Decisions of Agencies Location in Cameroonians Cities


This work seeks to analyze the determinants of the establishment of advertising consulting agencies in Cameroonian cities to the detriment of others. The goal is to understand why certain Cameroonian cities attract advertising consulting agencies. The methodological approach consisted, in the identification of the headquarters of these companies, in consulting the regulatory texts approving the advertising professions, the websites and Facebook pages of various agencies recognized by the National Council for Advertising and advertising posters of companies founded abroad. We had to carry out an observation in order to identify the cities-headquarters of the agencies approved in Cameroon by the National Council of Advertising in 2021. The analysis consisted in grouping together these agencies by headquarters city. As for the axis of interpretation, it led to find the elements of attractiveness that include the cities of Douala and Yaounde identified as major basins of location of these agencies. Theoretically, the research is based on the sociology of professions and the theory of the attractiveness of territories, in particular the approach of the New Geographical Economy of Paul Krugman. The results show that there is a total of 56 advertising consulting agencies, therefore 43 for the city of Douala alone, that is, 76.78% and 07 in Yaounde, that is, 12.5%. This concentration of advertising consulting agencies in these two cities is due to multiple reasons. Most of the agencies founded by the nationals settle massively in Douala and Yaoundé in order to win customer. In fact, the main advertisers have their headquarters in these cities, as much for the multinational agencies, the establishment; mainly in Douala is guided by the presence in this town of customers/companies acquired by the parent companies internationally in order to support them in their communication campaigns.

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Assomo, A. (2022) Advertising Professions and Territorial Attractiveness: Analysis of the Determinants of the Decisions of Agencies Location in Cameroonians Cities. Advances in Journalism and Communication, 10, 149-169. doi: 10.4236/ajc.2022.102011.

1. Introduction

The goal of the present work is to analyze the main reasons that push advertising consulting agencies in Cameroon to concentrate themselves in certain territories at the detriment of others. In other words, why are some Cameroonian cities especially attractive to advertisers? Today, the location of an organization is not a matter of chance. It is generally a calculation, or even an opportunity seized. Location decisions, in the sense that we understand them, affect diverse aspects of the functioning of a company and refer in this respect to very varied fields (B to B communication, strategic management, commercial management and marketing etc.). The analysis can therefore only gain in depth by drawing on the contributions of these different fields (Sergot, 2006) . The growing role of multinational firms in the world economy, the growing diversity of options available to them for the location of their projects, the growing dependence of territories on their investment decisions, have given in recent years a strong relevance to the notion of attractiveness, now omnipresent in the speeches of politicians, the work of consultants and scientific publications ( Hatem, “L’attractif du territoire” , For more twenty years, the concept of territory appeared in scientific productions and other authors in social sciences. This multidisciplinary aspect of this concept makes it polysemic and its definitions are multiple. Starting from the definition given by the dictionary of geography, there are three interpretations of the word territory which are not mutually exclusive. Thus, the territory can designate an administrative space; it can be limited by borders and inhabited by a population and can refer to any socialized space, appropriated by its inhabitants, regardless of its size (Mengue & Trésor, 2015) . This definition essentially focuses on the territory as a space limited by borders (administrative, geographical, etc.) and in which a group of individuals co-exists (Ibidem). The phenomenon of territorial attractiveness is the subject of an abundant theoretical and empirical literature.

Advertising can be seen as a technique, or even a form of mass communication, the purpose of which is to hold the attention of a targeted target (consumer, user, user, voter, etc.) in order to encourage them to adopt a desired behavior: purchase of a product, election of a political figure, incentive to save energy, etc. The advertising chain is made up of several actors, namely: the advertiser, the creative agency (which we call in this work the advertising consulting agency or the advertising agency), the advertising sales agency and the media (Dambre, 2006) . Advertising objectives define the specific mission of advertising within the marketing strategy and formulated in terms of the expected effects of the advertising campaign on the intended target. Indeed, the objective of advertising is to make the product known in order to have it adopted durably by the buyer, to create a brand image, to maintain awareness, to build customer loyalty, to recall, to persuade, to inform (Kongolo Ntambwe, 2012) . According to Kongolo Ntambwe (Ibidem) the actors in advertising are of three types:

­ Advertisers: this is called any organization that advertises or any company that seeks to promote its product.

­ Agencies: an advertising consulting agency is an independent body, made up of specialists with the task to design, execute and control of advertising actions on behalf of advertisers.

­ The media: all means of communication which permit the transmission of a message towards a large public. There are six major media namely: television; radio; billboard; movie theater; print and the Internet.

Although we have not mentioned it, it is also necessary to add as a major actor in the advertising chain, the advertising sales agency that commercializes advertising spaces on behalf of the broadcasting media.

The advertising consulting agency and the advertising sales agency, in accordance with Article 10 of Law No. 2006/018 of December 29, 2006 governing advertising in Cameroon, are exercised within the framework of commercial companies and in accordance with community, legislative and regulations governing commercial activities and setting the rules of competition in Cameroon (Loi No. 2006/018 du 29 décembre 2006 régissant la publicité au Cameroun) . In its article 3, this law provides that the advertising consulting agency is: “Any legal person acting on behalf of an advertiser, with a view to developing an advertising communication strategy and monitoring its operationalization whatever their nature and objectives” (Ibid). As for the advertising sales agency, it is defined as any “Legal person acting on behalf of a broadcaster (media), with a view to marketing the advertising spaces opened by the latter for advertisers” (Ibid).

The work in synergy between the advertising consulting agency and the advertiser is called advertiser pool. It is in this binomial that, the general diagram of the communication, constitutes the sender, that is to say the pool which constructs and passes out a message to the receiver, here made up of the targets. It is a permanent relationship that requires regular consultation and close relations with a view of the effective implementation of advertising campaigns. The advertiser is the client of the advertising consultant agency. He is the sponsor of his advertising. The conquest of customers, namely advertisers, the monitoring of those and the concern for their retention (advertisers) by advertising agencies is therefore a constant concern; even at all times. The place of implementation of the advertising agency is therefore surrounded by a strategic issue in its concern to conquer and retain its customers. Hence the purpose of this article, which is to analyze the reasons that lead advertising agencies to establish themselves in certain territories and not in others. All of which leads to the main question formulated as follows: What are the determinants that attract advertising consultancies in specific territories to the detriment of others in Cameroon? In other words, why do some cities in Cameroon have these major actors in the advertising chain concentrated within them?

Thus we can make the hypothesis that, from the point of view of the promoters of advertising agencies, all Cameroonian cities are not equal: some can contribute significantly to the formation of its competitive advantages, while others are source of disability. In other words, the hypothesis formulated is as follows: the implementation of advertising agencies obeys two major determinants: first, adopted by agencies founded by nationals is to settle in areas with high potential for advertisers in order to win customers; second, adopted by multinational agencies, is to set up in areas where the branches of cross-border companies with which their parent companies have signed advertising support contracts from abroad are already based. The objective of this work is to show that the installation of an advertising agency is not fortuitous; It is the result of the attractiveness of a city in relation to its objectives. In terms of its boundaries, this spatial work takes into account the entire Cameroonian territory, temporally it is based on the year 2021 and qualitatively it is interested in a particular actor in the advertising chain who is the consultant agency.

2. Literature Review and Theoretical Framework

This section intends to respectively highlight the literature review and the theoretical positioning of this research.

2.1. Literature Review

Several scientific studies have already addressed the theme of the determinants of business location. Braunerhjelm & Svensson (1996, 1998) underline the more marked influence of the comparative advantages of the host countries in the high technology sectors. Anything that reinforces the hypothesis of location criteria subject to the competitiveness objectives of firms. According to Moati & Perraud (2001: pp. 19-20) , concerning the case of Great Britain, the intersectoral distribution of foreign participation in industry is positively correlated with the revealed comparative advantages of the country, while outward flows of direct investment are negatively correlated to the same national comparative advantages. This result, confirmed by Milner & Pentecost (1996) (in Moati & Perraud, Ibidem) of the sectoral determinants of investment by American firms in Great Britain, lends credence to the idea—also defended by Mucchielli (1985) (in Moati & Perraud, p. 20Ibidem)—according to which firms, through the establishment abroad, seek to access environmental conditions favorable to their competitiveness which they would lack in their country of origin.

Mengue & Trésor (2015) integrates his work into a regional and local dimension linked to the territorial components of a country’s industrial sector. Within the framework of theoretical analysis of industrial economics and geographical economics, this study proposes an analysis of the relationship between the dynamics of the territorial attractiveness of industrial companies and their strategic choices of location in local authorities. Based on theoretical and empirical developments, the industrial attractiveness of a territory is highlighted as a determining factor in the location of production units in the Center region of Cameroon. Furthermore, the estimation of the equations of the determinants of location using a model included here as a panel reveals positive relationships between the evolution of the total number of employees in the industrial sector and the increase in industrial units of production, which tends to prove the attractiveness of Central Cameroon. The data used in this work were extracted from the database of statistical and tax declarations (DSF) for the period 2008 to 2012, having been made available to us by the National Institute of Statistics.

2.2. Theoretical Framework

The theoretical framework of this article leads to the mobilization of two complementary theories: the theory of the sociology of professions, in particular its interactionist current and more particularly the approach to the sociology of professional groups theorized by Demazière and Gadéa and the theory of the attractiveness of territories and more specifically the model of the New Geographical Economy, developed by one of its pioneers in the person of Krugman.

In general, the sociology of professions is a theory which consists in showing the emergence of a profession or the way in which it has evolved and constituted itself as such. Ferreol (2011) explains that the first works using the concept of profession appear as attempts to justify the privileges linked to the exercise of the socially valued profession. It should be noted that the sociology of professions has known two successive opposing approaches, namely functionalism and interactionism. In this work we are interested in the interactionist approach and more specifically that of the sociology of professional groups theorized by Demazière & Gadéa (2009) . In their work entitled La sociologie des groupes professionnels comme infléchissement interactionniste (2009), Demazière and Gadéa proceed to a redefinition of the object, the field and the approaches of the sociology of professions. “The move from a sociology of professions to a sociology of professional groups constitutes an important shift in the understanding of professional communities, whether or not they are prestigious, autonomous, or even only barely recognized” (Vezinat, 2010) .

For them, what the expression professional group designates are “groups of workers carrying out an activity having the same name, and therefore endowed with social visibility, benefiting from identification and recognition, occupying a differentiated place in the social division of labor, and characterized by a symbolic legitimacy” (Demazière & Gadéa, 2009: p. 20) . Demazière and Gadéa also note that “We cannot study and know all the people who have influenced in any way the efforts produced by an occupation to be recognized as a profession, without empirically studying the situations of work and penetrate them deeply”. (Demazière & Gadéa, 2009: p. 11) . In this, it is a question of succeeding in analyzing what is happening at the group level without losing sight of what the work activity consists of and integrating into it the specificities linked to the content of the work. This article, while focusing on the advertising profession, does not forget that within this group, there is a set of specific professions. This is the case for consulting agencies, boards and even advertising brokers. The article is centered on a specific profession within this group. This is the advertising consulting agency.

The sociology of professions is supplemented in this article by the theory of the attractiveness of territories and more specifically the model of the New Geographical Economy, developed by Krugman.

The general theory of the attractiveness of a territory is, according to Poirot & Gérardin (2010: p. 27) , assimilated to “the capacity of this territory to attract and retain mobile factors of production and/or the population”. It sets out the ability of a territory to be chosen by an actor as a location area (temporary or long-term) for all or part of its activities (Ibidem).

According to the two researchers, two types of actors are likely to be attracted to a territory: resident individuals and the managers or management teams of organizations (companies, administrations, institutions of the association or non-governmental organization type, etc.) which invest in the territory and create jobs there. For them, two scenarios characterize the attraction of territories to investors; the attraction is exercised on companies already established, which are expanding their establishments or creating new ones, or on companies outside the territory. The general theory of attraction to investors indicates that investors offer them conditions for setting up their activities, encouraging them to locate in this territory. Among the factors of this attractiveness are the characteristics of the demand from companies concerned with developing their projects.

Territorial attractiveness theorists have developed several approaches including: industrial economics, spatial economics and the New Geographical Economy (NEG) (Mengue & Trésor, 2015) .

This research is theoretically leaned on the model of the New Geographical Economy, developed by one of its pioneers in the person of Paul Krugman. Nobel Prize in Economics 2008, Paul Krugman is at the origin of a new movement in economic thought: geographic economics (Blachère, 2021) . He managed to theorize the economy through geography based on his analysis of international trade. By dealing with the way in which economic activities are located in space, Krugman contributed to give birth to the New Economic Geography (NEG) (French-speaking authors alternate between New Geographical Economy and New Economic Geography). In particular, he develops the notion of centre-periphery. The centre-periphery model is presented by Krugman in Geography and Trade (ibidem). For him, if international trade is governed by economies of scale, then the regions with the greatest production are more dynamic and will therefore attract economic agents from all over the world. Production will therefore focus on a territory, which can be as small as a city or a district. This territory is called by Krugman the “center”. The center is destined to become densely populated and to house populations with high incomes. Regions that are not “centres” therefore represent the “periphery”. In order to explain the particularly important geographical concentrations of industries or services, Krugman takes up the arguments put forward by Marshall about clusters in his Principles of Economics (1890).

Krugman considers economic geography from several angles: on the one hand, like Ohlin, he thinks that economic geography is a hybrid construction obtained from the rapprochement between the theory of international trade and the theory of location (Coissard, 2007) . “By geographical economy, therefore, he simply means a theory on the location of production in space” (Ibidem). The work of Krugman has revived the question of the location of activities by formalizing their endogenous distribution.

In his work, Krugman focuses on two main questions. The first concerns the reasons that drive economic activities to concentrate in a limited number of regions and/or cities. The second, which comes in addition, concerns the reasons which lead certain specific economic activities, such as the manufacture of carpets or scientific research for example, to be concentrated in certain places (Walther & Krugman, 2008) . It is precisely this concern of Krugman to want to explain the “why” of the concentration of certain activities which applies to the present work which endeavors to indicate the determinants of the attractiveness of certain regions of Cameroon for the promoters of advertising agencies or, at best, the reasons that lead advertisers to concentrate in certain cities to the detriment of others. Besides; the articulation which will follow makes it possible to indicate the territorial occupation of advertising agencies in the Country.

3. Methodology

The presentation of the methodology of this work highlights the path taken to explain the reasons for the implementation of advertising agencies in Cameroon in certain territories.

3.1. Information Gathering Techniques

For this work, we searched for various sources of information through documentary research and observation.

­ Documentary research

This heuristic approach led us to consult the regulatory texts approving the advertising professions, the websites and Facebook pages of various agencies recognized by the National Advertising Council and advertising posters of companies founded abroad.

With regard to regulatory texts, we mobilize the decrees of the Minister of Communication, approving the advertising professions, more particularly that of the year 2021. It is in this official document that the complete list of agencies regularly authorized to exercise is recorded. in the Republic of Cameroon in 2021 because according to Article 2 of Decision No. 092/Mincom/Cnp/of December 31, 2020 “ the above-named companies and those mentioned in Decision No. 092/Mincom/Cnp/of December 31, 2020, are the only ones authorized to carry out the activities of advertising consulting agency and advertising sales agency in Cameroon for the aforementioned period [from January 15 to December 31, 2021], subject to the presentation of individual approval documents”.

Concerning the websites and Facebook pages, these are the electronic platforms of the various consulting agencies operating in the country. These communication media have provided information on the location of these actors in the advertising chain in the national territory.

­ Observation

The technique of observation makes it possible to explain a phenomenon through the description of behaviors, situations and facts. To achieve this scientifically, the description of the observation must be faithful to the real situation and it is important to make systematic reports. “Observation does not require any instrument other than the researcher himself, nor the implementation of sophisticated data processing techniques” (Arborio, 2007) . As part of this work, we conducted a structured observation also called systematic observation (Gaspard Claude,, consulted on November 21, 2021). It includes rules clearly defined and formulated upstream to carry out the observation. A structured observation is used when it is necessary to formulate a problem in a precise way. The observation rules set here were to locate in which cities are the different licensed advertising agencies in Cameroon. The observation scheme drawn up before the survey consisted of placing the agencies located in the city-headquarters category in the form to indicate in which city they are located. This operation made it possible not to lose the thread of our observation at the time of the investigation. This collection technique complemented, in terms of the location of advertising agencies, the searches made in the digital platforms of these companies. It took place in the major cities of the country, especially, Yaounde, Douala, Bafoussam and Garoua.

3.2. Analysis and Interpretation

For better use of the information collected and in order to achieve reliable results, we use a method. That is, the analysis of the categories or even the headquarters cities of the various agencies having a legal existence in Cameroon. It is a content analysis of the documents collected and the observation sheet. It should be specified that this is a thematic analysis of the categorical type which consists of identifying, calculating and quantifying the frequencies of the themes, here the advertising agencies, mentioned or emerging and grouping them into significant elements which are in this work the headquarters cities. This will therefore lead, alongside a qualitative analysis, to using a quantitative analysis to see the frequencies of appearance of the agglomerations which shelter these players in the advertising field. This operation therefore makes it possible to classify the cities and obtain the number of advertising agencies they house. Being seen as the exhaustive set of data on which the analysis is carried out, our corpus is therefore made up of 56 agencies legally recognized in 2021 in the country. The analysis of the locations of advertising agencies will be apprehended according to the frequency of their location in the cities. The unit of analysis, in this case the theme, will therefore be the advertising agency. It will therefore be a question of raising the frequency of location of the said agencies in Cameroonian cities. This operation will lead to extracting and then grouping by headquarters city the various consulting agencies legally operating in Cameroon in 2021. The above leads to the interpretation of the facts analyzed. The axis of interpretation of the data resulting from the analysis will be to show, in relation to the approach of the New Geographical Economy; the reasons which constitute the attraction of certain cities for the strategic development of advertising agencies.

4. Presentation of the Cities Where Advertising Agencies Operating in Cameroon Are Based

This section is the presentation of the fruit of our data collection. This one is not yet analyse is considered to be raw. It makes it possible to exhibit in the headquarter cities of each advertising consulting agency having a legal existence in Cameroon. Thus the decision No. 092/Mincom/Cnp/of December 31, 2020 approving the advertising professions and signed by the minister of communication Mr. Rene Emmanuel Sadi after consulting the national advertising council, indicates the location of each advertising agency (Decision No. 092/Mincom/ Cnp/of December 31, 2020) . The facebook pages of these agencies and the complete of their location and allow to have in a precise way, complete information on the city in which each of these companies is based.

Cameroon has ten regions, in each of them, cities which are their capitals and which constitute places of abundant populations. Economic activities are carried out there, led by companies and people carrying out informal activities. Advertising agencies advise and support their clients partially or fully in their communication strategy. In the country, they have settled in specific localities, strategically, in particular to find good opportunities to conquer and retain customers, specifically advertisers. Here we have the list of advertising consultancies and their headquarters cities.

In total, and according to Table 1, therefore fifty-six (56) advertising consulting agencies operate legally in Cameroon. A first observation shows that these organizations are located in the following cities: Douala, Yaounde, Buéa, Ngaoundéré, Limbe and Kribi.

5. The High Concentration of Advertising Agencies in Douala and Yaounde

After having presented in a rough way the elements collected in particular the location by city headquarters of each advertising agency, we will therefore, in this articulation proceed to the analysis of the data. This will consist of grouping the agencies together in the city of location. This, to have the spatial distribution of the agencies in the different cities.

Table 1. List of advertising consultant agencies and their headquarters cities.

Source: Decision No 092/MINCOM /CNP/ST of December 31, 2020 approving the advertising professions and the author.

Commercial communication means all information, messages and signals of any kind that the company decides to issue voluntarily or not to a given audience. By this definition, we can believe that each company wishing to make known its product uses commercial communication. Except that it is not always up to the company to make known its product. They will call on the services of a specialist to make its advertising message effective (Ekokoba, 2013: p. 9) . This is how we will talk about advertising agencies. Indeed, advertising agencies are of great importance in economic activity because they contribute to the development of companies, competition is increasingly felt and companies that exercise the same profession feel threatened and find themselves obliged to call on the services of an advertising agency, either to enhance their image, position themselves or to remind their customers that they are still present on the market.

Unlike any other business, the advertising agency is in itself a business, it can also be exposed to the same difficulties as its clients. For example, facing competition.

This articulation sets out to analyze the location of advertising agencies operating in Cameroon. Anything that leads to first of all, present the distribution by cities of Cameroonian advertising agencies.

Table 2 shows the reality of the location of advertising agencies in Cameroonian territory. In total there are 56 companies providing advertising services. These are located in the following cities: Douala, Yaoundé, Buéa, Ngaoundéré, Limbé, Kribi and Garoua.

­ Douala: this city alone houses the headquarters of 43 advertising agencies out of 56, or 76.78 (%) of the total number of advertisers.

­ Yaounde: the political capital of Cameroon is the headquarters of 07 advertising consulting agencies out of the 56 approved, i.e. 12.5% of the structures in this category.

­ Buea: This city has 02 advertising consulting agencies out of 56, representing a percentage of 3.57% of the total number.

­ Ngaoundéré: this city has 01 agency out of the 56 located in the national territory for a percentage estimated at 1.78%.

­ Limbe: it also houses 01 branch out of 56, or 1.78% of the total number.

­ Kribi: There are also 01 advertising agency here, i.e. 1.78%.

­ Garoua: This city in northern Cameroon has 01 advertising consulting agency.

In view of the above, we see that the city with the largest number of advertising consulting agencies is Douala. The city alone is home to 43 advertising consulting agencies operating legally on the national territory for a percentage out of 56 in total in the country. Yaounde, which follows, has 07 advertising agencies, i.e. 12.5% of the total number of companies carrying out advertising consultancy

Table 2. Quantified distribution of advertising agencies by city.

Source: The author.

activities. There is therefore a high concentration of advertising agencies in these two cities (Douala is the economic capital of Cameroon and Yaounde the administrative political capital). The two cities have 50 advertising agencies with 89.28%. The other cities in which there are advertising agencies, namely Buea, Ngaoundéré, Limbé, Kribi and Garoua, meanwhile, gather only 06 agencies. It should be noted that the rest of the major cities of Cameroon, in particular 05 regional capitals (Ebolowa, Bertoua, Maroua, Bafoussam and Bamenda do not have any advertising agency.

This high concentration of advertising agencies in the cities of Douala and Yaounde denotes an unequal location of communication companies in the national territory. Which doesn’t seem like a coincidence. Indeed, advertising agencies have advertisers as clients, in their business to business relationships, there is not only recruitment but also daily exchanges in the implementation of advertising campaigns. Anything that seems to justify the localization strategies of advertising agencies geared towards areas with a high concentration of advertisers. This seems to be the case with the localization strategy of Cameroonian agencies strongly based in Douala and Yaounde.

6. The Reasons for the Strong Presence of Advertising Agencies in Douala and Yaounde

In the previous section, by analyzing the data from our research, noted a high concentration of advertising agencies in Douala and Yaoundé. This emerge by way of interpretation, the reason which explains this phenomenon.

In effect, a communication agency supports companies in setting up their means of communication. Most of the time, she designs a communication strategy adapted to her client’s needs and objectives and then implements the means she has recommended. For Laurence Morel, co-founder of Lmdb Editorial in speaking of the launch of an advertising agency “the recipe for a successful launch is 70% work, 10% madness, 10% luck and 10% address book”. The major difficulty facing an agency creator is to manage to build up clients. Not easy, in a very competitive context. Indeed, in Cameroon, the advertising market is quite narrow. The main advertisers are recruited among actor in the brewing and telecommunications sectors. They are the ones who regularly carry out campaigns built and followed by advertising. An advertising agency therefore has two main objectives in its localization strategy: Winning customers and satisfying its acquired customers. Thus, the installation of advertising consulting agencies in specific cities seems to be guided by a strategy aimed at winning new clients for agencies of local origin, settling in towns-headquarters of clients acquired by the parent companies, internationally for others.

6.1. For Local Agencies: A Concentration in the Two Cities with a High Probability of Winning Customers

According to Echampard & Crespe ( “Customer conquest is a process of finding new market share. It is the goal of any marketing strategy. Winning new customers, however, requires developing good strategies. Indeed, the development of its turnover requires the company to invest in approaches that bring it a satisfactory ROI”. The two experts indicate that developing new markets is vital for a company. This action allows the agency to optimize its turnover and ensure its growth. To increase its profits, it must gain new market share. Hence the importance of customer acquisition (ibidem). Winning new customers is therefore a capital investment that makes it possible to make activities profitable and ensure the future of the company. Customer conquest is a commercial approach, which, as its name suggests, makes it possible to find new customers. It consists in a way of finding new market shares, with the aim of increasing sales and turnover at the same time. In B to B, customer conquest involves the following actions: increase visibility and generate “incoming” contacts, meet the market, play on the complementarity of actions… Thus, customer conquest consists of explore new targets. It is about trying to recruit new customers. Local agencies are those founded by nationals. Their customer portfolio therefore depends on their ability to win over and keep the advertisers for whom they develop advertising communication strategies. Thus, the high concentration of advertising consulting agencies founded by Cameroonians in Douala is also due to a concentration of advertisers in this economic capital of the country. Douala, with its 76.78% of the number of advertising agencies, is indeed a city in which there is also a large concentration of companies, potential customers of the said agencies. As already indicated above, in Cameroon, it is the players in the telecommunications and brewing sectors that account for most of the advertising revenue. They are the ones who regularly carry out advertising campaigns and who are therefore likely to interest agencies in their quest for customers. “According to a recent study by Media Intelligence on advertising investment in Cameroon, mobile operators MTN Cameroon and Orange Cameroon are among the largest advertisers in the country. The two companies invested, according to Media Intelligence, nearly 11% of the total amount of advertising investments in Cameroon in 2014. That is 5.9% for MTN and 5.5% for Orange” ( MTN et Orange parmi les meilleurs annonceurs du Cameroun , “The Société Anonyme des Brasseries du Cameroun (SABC), created just after the Second World War and a subsidiary of the Castel Group, dominates the market and captures, all brands combined, 3/4 of consumption. The SABC markets local brands such as Manyan or Castel as well as international brands: 33 Export, Mutzig, Amstel, Pelforth, etc. The SABC faces competition from the Guiness group (Diageo) which captures 14% of the market with the Guiness brand and UCB which totals 10%.” ( Investissements publicitaires: le secteur de la bière au Cameroun ,, accessed March 8, 2022). The same source indicates that: “To promote their brands in Cameroon, these major advertisers spent in 2017, more than 1.8 billion FCFA (about 2.8 million euros)”. Thus, the four companies cited and which are among the largest advertisers in Cameroon are: MTN Cameroon, Orange Cameroon, Société Anonyme des Brasseries du Cameroun and the Guiness Group (Diageo). Other companies, notably banks, complete the list of these sectors in which we find regular advertisers in the Cameroonian advertising market. Taking as examples telecommunications companies, brewing companies and banks as being the sectors where the country’s major advertisers are recruited, we can see their location according to Table 3 below.

Table 3 shows us, among the largest advertisers in Cameroon, seven (07) companies. Of the 07, it appears that 06 advertisers are based in Douala. These are MTN Cameroon, Orange Cameroon, Société Anonyme des Brasseries du Cameroun, Guinness Group, Union Camerounaise des Brasseries, Nextel Cameroon and YooMee. Only one, namely CAMTEL is based in Yaounde, the second city that attracts advertising agencies. This concentration of advertisers, potential clients of agencies, is a bait for these communication firms in their quest for clients. Indeed, it must be said emphatically, the advertising market in Cameroon is narrow. Few companies actually vote advertising budgets. The companies listed in the table to which we can add a few others constitute the bulk of the companies that are truly sure to devote resources to advertising investments. The rest of the advertisers lead occasional campaigns, sometimes without the support of an agency. Local agencies are therefore forced to jostle in the economic capital and also to be geographically close to the places where the companies likely to be their customers are located. It is in this order of ideas that an agency like Ascèse founded in 2006, will indeed settle in Douala. She will succeed in conquering the SABC as a client, in particular its Tangui brand and its

Table 3. Cities—headquarters of major advertisers and location of their advertising consultancies.

Source: The author.

institutional component and BICEC. The city of Douala constitutes, with regard to this observed concentration of large companies which are moreover the main advertisers in the country, an important breeding ground for local advertising agencies whose survival depends on the customer portfolio and who therefore see in this city an important market to win customers. Yaounde, the political capital also attracts by the presence of companies, potential advertisers, advertising firms. This is how the Iboga Group agency set up there and won over CAMTEL, which it supports in its communication strategy. We therefore understand at best that the location strategy of advertising agencies founded by Cameroonians in the cities of Douala and Yaoundé is strongly guided by their desire to win customers, because it is at this level that we find the seats of major advertisers in Cameroon recruited from telecommunications companies, brewing companies and banks. Douala and Yaounde therefore attract advertising agencies by the quality of the companies located there; these being their potential customers.

6.2. For Transnational Agencies: A Concentration Guided by the Presence of Clients Acquired by the Parent Companies Internationally

In Cameroon, foreign brands are marketed in two ways. The first is the installation of a local branch of the multinational owner of the brand. According to Michalet (1976: p. 15) , a Multinational is: “a company that is usually large in size, which, from a national base, has set up several subsidiaries abroad in several countries, with a strategy and an organization designed to worldwide.” A multinational corporation is a company that does business in a few selected countries and operates facilities, such as warehouses or distribution centers, in at least one foreign country ( Boîte à outils de l’entrepreneur , Several multinationals are thus present in the Cameroonian market: MTN Cameroon, the Cameroonian telecommunications subsidiary of the South African multinational MTN; It was born on February 15, 2000, when the South African group MTN bought out the license for CAMTEL Mobile (“Cameroon: Orange and MTN soon to be heckled—” [archive], on (consulted on November 28 It was created on February 15, 2000, when the South African group MTN bought out the license for CAMTEL Mobile (, consulted on March 6, 2022). of 200,000,000 FCFA is 70% owned by MTN International and 30% by the Cameroonian company Broadband Telecom ( Télécommunication ,, consulted on July 22, 2019). It is one of the largest private investors in the country (more than 1000 billion FCFA invested since 2000) and the second largest contributor to the State in terms of taxes, duties, concession rights and other royalties paid (, consulted March 7, 2022); in May 2019 the company claims 8.7 million subscribers in Cameroon (“Cameroon: a fine of 3.5 billion CFA francs infli MTN, Orange and Nextel”, on, July 5, 2019 (accessed July 18, 2019). In its activities, the company offers its customers products in mobile telephony, internet and money transfer. Its advertising consulting agency is the multinational MW DDB Cameroon belonging to the Casers Group and affiliated with the DDB Network. Created under the name MW. Marketing Services in 1997, rebranded MW DDB in 2012, following its affiliation with the DDB group, the second largest global advertising network and united with the CASERS group since 2015, the leading communication network in Africa ( MW-DDB-Cameroun , Indeed, MW is based in Douala, where the head office of MTN Cameroon is based. This is a constraint for her because to support her client MTN, this agency was obliged to settle in the economic capital to carry out her missions with her client. This is centered on studies, strategy, the production of communication media and the purchase of space in the media. On April 5, 2021, MWDDB supports its client for the launch of its new brand campaign called “Unbeatable with MTN, the indomitable network”. This new campaign displays the superiority of MTN Cameroon’s infrastructure through the indomitable network, “because it is efficient in terms of the extent of its coverage, its speed and its quality, covering more than 97% of the population in Cameroon through 2G, 3G+ technologies, 4G and 4.5G” (, accessed 08 March 2022). During this campaign, MW DDB produces radio and television spots, posters and banners which are broadcast respectively in radio and television channels, on road signs and on the

­ Orange Cameroon: This company is a Cameroonian telecommunications operator. The beginning of the activities intervenes in February 2000 under the name of Mobilis. In June 2002, it became Orange Cameroon, a subsidiary of the French telecommunications operator having acquired the brand ( Orange, Historique: qui sommes-nous? Its main products and years of introduction are: Mobile phone communications (2000), Internet (2006), Mobile money (2011). The company has 2,800,000 subscribers and 3600 points of sale ( Orange Cameroun SA ,, consulted on March 6, 2022). Orange Cameroon’s advertising consulting agency is Voodoo Cameroon, itself a subsidiary of the international group Voodoo Communication, an agency created in 1999 and located in Abidjan (Ivory Coast) with representations in various French-speaking African countries (, consulted on March 9, 2022). His arrival in Cameroon. Sylvain Konan, who talks about this cross-border partnership sealed from the parent company in Côte d’Ivoire between Voodoo and Orange, indicates that: “Scoring a big hit naturally sets you apart”. A big hit in the advertising business makes you shine bright. This is what the mobile operator Orange and the communication agency Voodoo understood. Indeed, in Cameroon, before the arrival and installation of Voodoo, it was the Nelson Leo Burnet agency that managed Orange’s communication budget. Immediately, the contract signed between Orange and the parent company Voodoo that the local branch of the telephone operator is obliged to separate from Nelson. Marion Obam ( Mutations, 2005 in, accessed March 9, 2022) will indeed say that:

The rumor had been circulating for several months already. It was rumored that the Nelson-Léo Burnett agency, which had been managing the Orange Cameroon budget, before Mobilis, for five years had lost the portfolio of this company. An announcement that few people in the communication sector were able to accept in view of the relationships and the quality of the campaigns carried out during all these years by the agency. However, the official confirmation was to be given by the new Managing Director of Orange Cameroon, Philippe Luxcey during his first press conference on November 30 in Yaoundé.

Voodoo Afrique, having therefore acquired the right to support Orange communication throughout Africa in 2005, will also set up in Cameroon since Orange is also present in the country. The headquarters of Orange Cameroon being in Douala, it is also in the economic capital that the local subsidiary of the Agency will settle in order to support its client in its advertising strategies. For example, on December 10, 2020, Voodoo supports Orange Cameroon in its “Let’s live!”. During this, the spots, banners and posters designed and produced by the agency will be broadcast to reach the targets ( La Redaction ,

So we can see, whether it’s MWDDB or Voodoo, these two agencies, which belong to international groups, are forced to settle in Douala, the same city that houses the headquarters of the subsidiaries of the multinationals with which the contracts have been signed between the mother houses. All of which leads to saying that the location of agencies in the economic capital is also the result of a determinant guided by the presence in headquarters cities of clients acquired by parent companies abroad, particularly for transnational agencies. The objective here is to support them in their communication campaigns in studies, strategy, development of messages, production of media and in the purchase of space. All this requires geographical proximity and regular consultations between the agency and its client.

7. Conclusion

What are the determinants that attract advertising consultancies in specific territories to the detriment of others in Cameroon? In other words, why do some cities in Cameroon have these major actors in the advertising chain concentrated within them? This is the main question that underlies this research. The documentary research carried out and which was supplemented by observation made it possible to see that in Cameroon there are a total of 56 advertising consulting agencies, therefore 43 for the city of Douala alone, i.e. 76.78% and 07 in Yaounde, i.e. 12.5%. This concentration of advertising consulting agencies in these two cities is due to multiple reasons. Indeed, as much the agencies founded by the nationals settle massively in Douala and Yaoundé in order to win customers because the main advertisers have their headquarters in these cities, as much for the multinational agencies, the establishment, mainly in Douala is guided by the presence in this of customers/companies acquired by the parent companies internationally in order to support them in their communication campaigns. Support requiring geographical proximity and regular consultation between the advertising agency and its advertiser client. This work makes it possible to understand the motivations of advertising agencies to settle in these cities. They are purely marketing. If the research highlights the attractiveness of Douala and Yaoundé for advertising consulting agencies, it would be just as curious to know about the strategies of advertising agencies which, they are companies selling space on behalf of broadcasters especially when we know that their work touches electronic media as well as urban display; Cameroon counting for the latter case, 10 regional capital towns.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest regarding the publication of this paper.


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