Outright ban on alcohol ads ‘unlikely’

31 August 2011

A government task team investigating restrictions on alcohol advertising would probably not recommend an outright ban, according to a report in Business Day on Wednesday.

The government’s final decision on alcohol advertising was keenly awaited by the alcohol industry and by the media, which depended heavily on its advertising expenditure.

For the SABC alone, annual advertising spending from alcohol companies amounted to between R250-million and R400-million.

A proposal emerged in Parliament on Tuesday for “significant” restrictions on alcohol advertising and, possibly, a ban in particular segments of the media .

Opponents of alcohol advertising claimed that alcohol caused accidents, lowered productivity and caused health and social problems, but Zane Dangor, special adviser to Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini, said a task team set up to probe the issue had adopted the approach that it was a public health issue rather than one of cost to the economy.

Dangor told a parliamentary media briefing by the social protection and community development cluster of ministers that the task team was looking at models used in other countries.

They were particularly interested in France, where restrictions were placed on TV, internet and radio advertising of alcohol .

Dangor said the task team would submit its report to an inter-ministerial committee soon.