Media group slams campaign to ban alcohol adverts

If the state goes ahead with plans to ban alcohol advertising, this will force small and medium outdoor advert companies to close down, Out of Home Media SA (OHMSA) said on Thursday.

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi recently announced the government was planning a ban on alcohol advertising in a bid to rein in violent crime fuelled by excessive drinking.

At a World Health Organisation meeting in Cape Town, he said it was not a matter of if, but when alcohol advertising would be banned.

“If a ban is imposed, this would have a dire impact on small to medium enterprises (SMEs) solely reliant on outdoor advertising,” OHMSA executive director Melissa Moore said.

“Ironically, the SME sector is the exact target of government’s growth and development policies.”

Larger outdoor advert companies received between 12% and 15% of their income from the liquor industry, and SMEs up to 40%.

Moore said research had not drawn a link between alcohol advertising and alcohol consumption and abuse.

“In fact, research shows that people drink because of peer pressure, parental example and other social issues.”—Sapa

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