The Association of Alcohol Manufacturers and Importers (AAMI), Ministry of Health, Ministry of Information, Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), together with the Advertisers Association of Ghana (AAG) and the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA), have pledged their commitment to collaborate to strengthen alcohol marketing and advertising standards and protect the interest of consumers and public health.
At a one-day Ghana Alcohol Beverage Marketing and Advertising Standards workshop held at the Kempinski Hotel, under the aegis of the AAMI in partnership with the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) and International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD), stakeholders underscored the need to work together to realize a new dawn of alcohol marketing and advertising in Ghana.
Presenting the keynote address on behalf of the Minster of Health, Joseph Adusei, Head of Regenerative Health and Nutrition Program at the Ministry said responsible marketing practices can support public health goals to reduce alcohol-related harm in the country.
“Producers must understand their responsibility to develop, produce, market and sell their products responsibly. They must lead the change and I believe that there is great opportunity for the AAMI to work with other stakeholders to ensure that the rest of the industry aligns with responsible marketing and advertisement of alcohol”, he noted.
He added that the ministry and other critical actors have an open door and industry must constantly engage to explore ways of ensuring that they make inputs to assure and insure interest of consumers and the sustainability of their businesses.
Hon. Dr. Mustapha Hamid, Minister for Information in his speech congratulated the AAMI and its partners for taking leadership by putting together the workshop; adding, “To all intents, this workshop is timely as it will incite the much needed conversation and change in view of recent issues around alcohol marketing and advertising in Ghana.”
“Given the rapid evolution of the media in Ghana, it is an undeniable fact that there are growing concerns among various stakeholders and the public about alcohol advertising by some producers. I am happy about industry’s approach and wish to assure them of our readiness to work with all relevant stakeholders to sanitize the alcohol marketing and advertising space.
Speaking at the workshop, Gabriel Opoku-Asare, Vice Chairperson of the AAMI said the Association is aware that there is a challenge that needs to be addressed and believes industry can play an important role in improving the current situation and producers have embraced robust standards as the way forward.
“By collaborating and partnering with government, enforcement agencies and civil society, we can play a key role in mitigating irresponsible alcohol marketing and advertising in the country. We believe that governments, producers, and relevant stakeholders more than ever need to work together vigorously and collaborate to ensure compliance of marketing and advertising standards”, he added.
He further intimated that the alcohol industry can be a partner in this drive and assured stakeholders that the AAMI will work to ensure compliance among its membership and assiduously embark on a membership drive to rope in other producers.
At a panel session to round off the workshop, stakeholders including the AAMI, AAG, FDA, and GIBA underscored the need to improve advertising and marketing standards in Ghana through a collaborative approach; in order to guarantee compliance of independent codes and national regulations on alcohol.