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Video: FDA Alcohol Ad Ban Not Strategic And Needless – Nana Poku Rabbai Blasts

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Following the Supreme Court’s decision to affirm the Food and Drugs Authority’s FDA ban on celebrity alcohol advertisements, several Ghanaian celebrities and other well-known figures protested.

The authority explained that the guideline was necessary to prevent minors from being addicted to alcohol due to the influence of celebrities.

Nana Poku, commonly referred to as Rabbai, a radio host and entertainment analyst has also expressed his dissatisfaction with the law prohibiting celebrities from commercializing alcoholic beverages.

The directive, in his opinion, was not strategic and unnecessary.

Speaking on the matter alongside actress Martha Joyce (MATJOY) on Oyerepa TV CineFie, Rabbai observed: “One thing I have noticed is that the topic has a balanced commentary, but people have centered it as if alcohol is a bad product. It doesn’t hold if celebrities are banned from advertising it since there is no footage of underage children at drinking places abusing alcohol”.

He continued by saying that kids continue to watch alcohol-related commercials in the English Premier League because they are so passionate about the activity.

He said ” Most of the children are on social media and they take keen notice of everything happening there so the ban is needless and not strategic. The FDA in its guidelines for the Advertisement of Foods published on February 1, 2016, stipulates that “No well-known personality or professional shall be used in alcoholic beverage advertising”.

Watch video below

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Background

The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) in 2015 enforced a directive meant to regulate the use of alcohol among Ghanaians. However, aspects of their guidelines prevent celebrities from advertising for alcoholic beverages.

The Authority had explained that due to the influential nature of these showbiz personalities, alcoholic advertisements they are involved in could push minors into alcoholism.

Representing the plaintiff Mark Darlington Osae, was Bobby Banson from the Robert Smith Law Group, while the Food and Drugs Authority was represented by Justine Amenuvor.

On November 11, 2022, Mark Darlington Osae, the manager of Reggie ‘N’ Bollie and Skrewfaze, filed a writ at the Supreme Court, describing the FDA’s 2015 regulations against alcoholic advertisements by celebrities as discriminatory against the creative arts industry.

The writ indicates that the FDA directive which orders that, “no well-known personality or professional shall be used in alcoholic beverage advertising,” is inconsistent with and in contravention of articles 17(1) and 17 (2) of the 1992 Constitution.

He contends that Articles 17(1) and 17 (2) of the 1992 Constitution guarantee equality before the law and prohibit discrimination against persons on grounds of social or economic status, and occupation, among others, and consequently makes the directive null, void, and unenforceable.

Creative industry persons including Wendy Shay, Shatta Wale, Brother Sammy, Kuami Eugene, and Camidoh, have all spoken against the law and called on powers that be to repeal it, prior to the court action initiated by Mark Darlington.

According to the stakeholders of the culture and creative industries, endorsements or advertisements of alcoholic beverages is one of the very few income streams available to them at present, therefore, any law that restricts their engagement in such activities robs them of their livelihood.

 

Supreme Court Ruling

The Supreme Court has by a majority decision upheld the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA)’s directive which prevents celebrities from endorsing alcoholic

drinks.

This brings an end to a highly publicised nineteen-month legal suit filed against the Authority by the CEO of Black Kulcha Music, Mark Darlington Osae.

Delivering an abridged version of the ruling at the apex court on Wednesday, June 19, Chief Justice, Gertrude Torkornoo, said the FDA’s directive does not contravene the constitution.

This means that well-known personalities or professionals are perpetually banned from appearing in advertisements that promote alcoholic

drinks.

On the day this landmark ruling was given, only one well-known personality in the showbiz industry, George Quaye showed up in court.

The full ruling is expected to be made public on Friday, June 21.

Speaking to reporters after the ruling, Director for Legal and Corporate Affairs at the Food and Drugs Authority, Joseph Bennie welcomed the ruling and said the Authority will take steps to prevent well-known personalities and professionals from circumventing the order.

An angry representative of the plaintiff with the Ghana Music Alliance, Nii Ofoli Yartey left the courthouse saying they’ll continue with their advocacy.

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Source:  MyGhanaMedia.com / Agoropapa – Kumasi

 

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