When authorities recently decided to dismantle the many competing billboards that dotted the city, the outcry by marketing firms was an indication that sector had become lucrative.
Visual adverting in Rwanda was slow to take off, many firms that bothered to do so, preferred the radio, the most popular medium.
Established brands saw no reason to advertise: They had cornered the market. Today we are seeing an about-turn in mindsets due to competition.
Today, the household names are forced to compete with newcomers for TV and radio slots as well as in the print media.
At any one given time, telecom companies have promotions ongoing, insurance companies and banks are coming up with new packages to lure customers and marketing companies are laughing all the way to the banks.
Despite the continued growth of the industry, advertising revenues in Rwanda pale in comparison with their east African neighbours, such as Kenya, where the market is estimated at about $100 million annually.
This week Cimerwa, the sole cement manufacturer in the country wrapped up its biggest marketing campaign to coincide with the festive season. It had to come out of its comfort zone as it is facing stiff competition from other regional players due to the Free Market.
Advertising is the mainstay of the media, but is it having the desired impact? Many have been forced to fold yet they should be getting a piece of the pie.
It could be partly their fault as advertisers seek visibility, consistency and well packaged products to attract audiences, many of our media houses lack that.
Media stakeholders such as Media High Council and the Rwanda Media Commission should make improving viability their priority, otherwise talk of a vibrant media will remain just that; talk.