Kasapa Fm’s Journalist, Akwasi Nsiah has bemoaned the ban on Ghanaian celebrities from advertising alcoholic beverages by Food and Drugs Authority, claiming it was unwarranted.
Speaking to Kojo Preko Dankwa on Kasapa Entertainment on Kasapa 102.5FM, Nsiah explained that the Food and Drugs Authority should revise the laws and not to wholly ban the stars from the liquor advertisement, adding that he’ll take legal action against the FDA if no amendments are made.
According to him, aside celebrities earning from their talent, these contracts with the Advertising Agencies especially with the alcoholic companies assist them since they have other responsibilities to take care of.
He made reference to China’s amendment on same ban issue as a precedent for Ghana following the World Conference organized by World Health Organization.
Akwasi noted that the China Advertising Law was centred on what concern people most such as how the new Advertising Law will impact celebrity endorsement, and how advertisers and spokespersons should react towards the new Law to minimize their legal risks.
According to Akwasi, Ghanaian celebrities like Shatta Wale was signed on by Guinness Ghana and later had it terminated, Kwadwo Nkansah Lil Win was on the verge of sealing the deal with Kasapreko but was dropped and LiveFM’s Jay Foley had his Remy Martin Billboards pulled down and contract terminated all because of the ban by Food and Drugs Authority, which according to them was an adherence to a World Health Organization (WHO) policy.
“If FDA’s directives now indicate that no Advertising or Alcoholic Beverage Companies can use celebrities as ambassadors and an individual or unknown person is used as their brand ambassadors, what should the Agency or the Beverage company do after years when that unpopular person gains grounds… should he/she be dropped?”, Akwasi quizzed.
He further asked “who can be categorized as a celebrity according the FDA definition.”
The Deputy Chief Executive for Food and Drugs Authority, John Odame Darkwa in an earlier publication explained that as a member of the WHO, Ghana is expected to adhere to the directive.
Mr. Odame Darkwa stated that prohibiting celebrities or people with high influence on the public from advertising alcoholic beverages in the country is part of sanitizing the advertising industry.
He said that the directive follows a research conducted by WHO which shows alcohol related diseases among children are on the increase and attributed it to the continuous involvement of celebrities in the advertisement of alcoholic beverages.
Mr Odame Darkwa stated that underage fans of celebrities are easily convinced to practice what their icons do or say, hence celebrity endorsement for alcoholic beverages and liquor is dangerous to such kids.