Per the Liquor Licensing Act 1970 (Act 331), presentation of advertisements on alcoholic should not feature any personality whose example persons under 18 years are likely to emulate or who has a particular appeal to persons under that age.
To that effect, the Food and Drugs Authority came public some weeks ago, directing that celebrities should not be used in advertising alcoholic beverages or drinkables. Broadcaster, Kwame Dzorkoto, who has done different voice overs and shot visual commercials in most of the latest alcoholic beverages, was mentioned in the directive as one influential celerity who should not be used for advertising alcoholic drinks.
Kwame Dzorkoto, later disclosed that the directive has blocked his chances of getting contracts from advertisers who do commercials for alcoholic beverage producing companies. Fast rising actor and comedian Bismark Nii Odoi popularly known as Bismark the Joke is the latest to be hit by the realities of the law regulating the use of celebrities in advertising alcoholic beverages.
Speaking to GHBase.com, crestfallen Bismark said, “There’s this new alcoholic drink coming in town. They called on me to feature in the ad for the product with a good offer. Later, they got in touch and said due to the Food and Drugs Authority’ directive on the use of celebrities to market alcohol, they can’t use me.”
Bismark who feels the authority’s directive does not make sense, posited that, “instead of banning the celebrities from advertising the alcoholic drinks, why not ban the alcohol itself! Ban alcohol in Ghana, not the celebrities who advertise them! Because whether you use celebrities to market alcohol or not, people will still drink so ban the alcohol if you think it’s bad for consumption!”
He cried out that getting income from shooting movies is not too reliable because movies are lately not selling so producers also don’t shoot more – so as an actor, income from movie acting is not enough. “It’s offers like this we use to survive! Income from acting is not enough” he said.
Throwing a rhetorical question for brainstorming, he stated, “So if they want the alcoholic beverage producers to use unknown or popular people because we are influential which I agree, what if the ad agencies pick unknown people, use them for ads and after a while, such people become celebrities too – then they too would be banned?”
Bismark the Joke is not the first star to speak against this law. Radio and TV presenter Afia Schwarzenegger, filmmaker Socrate Sarfo, and many pundits alike, have registered their displeasure at the enforcement of such a law – stating the law closes on stream of their income.
Although the law had been in existence, the Food and Drugs Board found the need to enforce it recently after many celebrities started acting as ambassadors for such products and advertising them. The Food and Drugs Board argues that most of these celebrities are adored by kids hence advertising such products which are targeted at the elderly will indirectly cause children to go in for such products as well.