A month ago, authorities at Ghana Standard Board were in the news – asking celebrities not to allow themselves to be used for advertising alcoholic drinks or beverages because those celebs have huge followers who could be deluded into alcoholism.
So I took my time to research on the Act they claim debars celebrities from being used to advertise alcoholic drinks – this is my shock: “No advertisement should suggest that drinking is an essential attribute of masculinity or advertisements should neither claim nor suggest that any alcoholic drink can contribute towards sexual success or can enhance sexual attractiveness.”
Read the provisions of the Liquor Licensing Act 1970 (Act 331) of Ghana:
(a) Advertising of alcoholic drinks should not be directed at persons under 18 years in contravention of the Liquor Licensing Act 1970 (Act 331). Presentation of advertisements on alcoholic drinks likely to be of particular appeal to children should be avoided. (b) Children should not be seen or heard in an advertisement for alcoholic drinks.
(c) In advertisements for drinks containing alcohol anyone associated with drinking should be or appear to be at least 18 years old.
The PARTICULAR ACT the Ghana Standard Board applied in telling the celebrities, especially Kwame Dzokoto, to stop advertising alcohol is below; (d) Advertisements for alcoholic drinks 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.
(e) Advertisements should not imply that drinking is essential to social Success or acceptance or that refusal is a sign of weakness. It should also not be implied that the successful outcome of a social occasion is dependent on the consumption of alcohol.
(f) Advertisements should not claim that alcohol has therapeutic qualities nor should it be presented as a stimulant, sedative or tranquiliser. (g) While advertisements may refer to refreshment after physical performance they should not give any impression that performance can be improved by alcoholic drinks.
(h) Advertisements should not suggest that a drink is to be preferred because of higher alcohol content or intoxicating effect. (i) Nothing in an advertisement should link drinking of alcohol with driving or the operation of potentially dangerous machinery.
(j) Advertisements should neither claim nor suggest that any alcoholic drink can contribute towards sexual success or can enhance sexual attractiveness. (k) Advertisements should not suggest that regular solitary drinking is acceptable or that drinking is a means of resolving personal problems.
(l) No advertisement should suggest that drinking is an essential attribute of masculinity. Advertisements featuring toughness or bravado in association with drinking should not be used. Alcoholic drinks should not be advertised in the context of aggressive or anti-social behaviour.
(m) Alcoholic drinks should not be seen to be consumed in a working environment unless it is clearly established that the working day has ended.
Meanwhile, 90% of all the alcoholic drinks and beverages, especially those who claim to have been manufactured with herb, keep advertising each passing day that: if you drink you will become a strong man (masculinity), you will be able to perform (s*x) in bed like a machine, your partner will love you more (s*xual attractiveness),
We see these adverts in newspapers, on TV, on radio, posters, online, in fact anywhere! What is the Ghana Standard Board doing about this? If they could pick from the same Act that debars celebrities from being used to promote alcoholism, what about this sexual aspect of it – which is even the main BAIT the manufactures and adverting agencies, use to lure most of the young men to patronize such drinks?
Are we now living in a country where laws are enforced as and when the authorities who are suppose to do so deem it fit – at their comfort or discretion? This is the worst form of hypocrisy exhibited by Ghana Standard Board. As I always say, hypocrisy, will find us all out. Until then…MOTWUM!!