A concerned citizen by the name of Samuel Bempong has petitioned the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) through his lawyers against the use of a minor and a social media influencer in advertising Bel Ice, an alcoholic drink produced by BLOW-CHEM Ghana Limited (Belbeverages Gh Ltd.).
In the petition, the complainant said he saw the advertisement on social media.
The complainant alleged, among others, that he chanced on the advertisement, which has been widely circulated by Bel Beverages and their agents on Instagram and TikTok.
The complainant went further to state that a popular social media influencer known as Yeboah Danita Akosua Adomaah popularly known as (@Afronitaa on Instagram’), was seen in the advertisement promoting and marketing Bel Ice, an alcoholic product, together with the minor.
According to the complainant in a letter dated January 19, 2024, written on his behalf by lawyer Nana Kofi Bekoe from Dzaisu, Eshun & Partners Legal Consult, he is motivated to report the matter to the FDA due to the fact that it is unconscionable and repugnant for children to be dragged into the arena of alcoholic advertising.
“Our client chanced on the advert which has been widely circulated by Bel Beverages and their agents on Instagram and TikTok and in the video, a popular social media influencer known as Yeboah Danita Akosua Adomaah (@Afronitaa on Instagram) is’ seen promoting and marketing Bel Ice, an alcoholic product produced by BLOW-CHEM Ghana Limited.
“In the same video, a minor can be seen together with the said influencer actively being used to market the said alcoholic product,
“We are aware that your office issued a directive on 1st February, 2016 and has subsequently issued several communiques and news alerts banning celebrities and other popular figures in society from being used by brands to market alcoholic beverages.
“It therefore flies in the face of your directive that a brand would not only flout that directive by using a popular figure, but also use a minor to do the very act you have prohibited them from doing.”
“On behalf of our client, we are bringing this video to your attention, so your office conducts its investigation and apply the necessary sanctions, if any, to deter other companies who may be tempted to do same due to perceived inaction on your part,” the petition added.
Judgement On Celebrity Alcoholic Advertisement Ban
The Supreme Court will on April 10, 2024 deliver judgement on the ban on celebrities from Alcoholic advertisement by the Food Drugs Authority (FDA).
The decision comes after lawyers of the Food And Drugs Authority (FDA), the plaintiff and the Attorney General’s office told the court that they relied entirely on their respective statement of cases and processes filed.
The FDA in 2015 banned celebrities from advertising alcoholic beverages. The directive received criticism from a section of the creative industry including the Plaintiff Mark Darlington Osae.
They argue that, the directive is in contravention of Article 17 (1) and 17 (2) of the 1992 Constitution which mandates equality before the law and prohibits discrimination against persons on grounds of status, occupation, religion among others. However the FDA said the directive is to protect minors from alcoholic influences.
Following the directive Mark Darlington Osae filled a suit in 2022 to challenge the decision.
The case has been adjourned to April 10, 2024 by the Court which was presided over by Chief Justice Gertrude Esaaba Sackey Torkornoo for a determination on the matter.