The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has said that it intends to strictly enforce the regulations which prevent manufacturers of alcoholic products from advertising their products on radio and television between the hours of 6am and 8pm.
The FDA’s current guidelines for the Advertisements on Foods (Section 3.2.6) and specifically the requirements for advertisements of alcoholic beverages, states that: “Radio and Television advertisements shall not be aired between the hours of 0600 am and 2000.”
However, lax enforcement of this regulation has seen alcoholic beverages advertised at all times of the day.
According to the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the FDA, James Lartey, persons who are found to be flouting the directive could face prison terms of up to 15 years as well as a fine of about 7, 500 cedis.
He stated that the move had become necessary because of the rise in the number alcohol ads during the day enticing minors to try these beverages, and ultimately affecting their health.
“Currently we have looked at the level of alcohol consumption in the media, it is very bad. And I think the earlier, we bring some stringent measures the better. So we feel that this is an attempt to actually enforce that aspect of the regulation,” he said.
He said, for now, the FDA is targeting the traditional media outlets although they are aware other channels could be used to promote these beverages.
James Lartey, however, suggested that in time the Association will look at enforcing the law on these other channels, including the various social media platforms.
“For now we are looking at TV and radio, that is what our regulations say, TV and radio, but like I mentioned earlier, regulation is dynamic, as we go along if we realized the need to include another medium, why not we will,” he said.
He also stated that the police will be assisting FDA in apprehending the culprits.