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To: Madoda Mxakwe, Group Chief Executive Officer, SABC

SABC, stop airing alcohol ads that associate alcohol consumption with success.

SABC, stop airing alcohol ads that associate alcohol consumption with success.

We want the SABC to completely stop airing alcohol ads that are associating alcohol consumption with status and success.

It is bad enough that attempts to ban alcohol ads completely on TV were unsuccessful. Thus, television in South Africa has become dependent on alcohol advertising. Since the ads cannot be banned because the SABC says they stand to lose half-a-billion rand in ad revenue per year [1], never mind the fact that banning those ads will in actual fact, help save the country R1.9 billion that the government is already spending on dealing with alcohol-related harm [2], the least our public broadcaster could do is monitor and regulate alcohol marketing and advertising.

Why is this important?

We live in an era where the digital world influences the lives of many people, especially young black communities from poor backgrounds. We see something, we digest it, we want to duplicate it. Institutions such as the SABC should not have a negative impact, or allow negative airing. As the national broadcasting company, content that is of harmful nature or influence should not be aired, if not controlled. It is no secret that alcohol ads are flooding television. What is more saddening is that these ads glamourise alcohol consumption, and associate it with being successful.
In the ads, you will see young people in an environment ‘where successful people belong’ consuming the alcohol, and promoting and encouraging those who are watching to go buy and drink it.

According to a special issue on alcohol advertising by the Southern African Alcohol Policy Alliance (SAAPA), research has linked exposure to portrayals of alcohol use in the mass media with the development of positive drinking expectancies by children and adolescents. Young people with more positive affective responses to alcohol advertising hold more favourable drinking expectancies, perceive greater social approval for drinking, believe drinking is more common among peers and adults, and intend to drink more as adults. [3]
Another research conducted by the Soul City Institute of Social Justice indicate that young people’s views on alcohol advertising, marketing and availability have a direct influence on their drinking patterns and sexual behaviour. Conducted in a rural village in Mpumalanga and an urban township, where young people were encouraged to capture their experiences through photographs and captions, including participating in focus-group discussions, young males believed that drinking a particular brand would lead to them being successful and young women said flavoured drinks were targeted at them. [4]

While there are a number of regulations against alcohol adverting that have passed, such as airing alcohol ads between 2pm - 5 pm on weekday and before 12pm on weekends on TV; and 6am - 9am and 2pm - 5pm on weekdays and no advertising before 12pm on weekends on radio, the laws need revisiting.
In 2010, the World Health Assembly of the World Health Organisation endorsed a Global Strategy to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol that countries needed to adopt. Ten policy options were identified, one of them being to reduce the impact of marketing, especially on young people and adolescents.
While not explicitly calling for a complete ban of alcohol advertising the Global Strategy calls for strong regulation of the various forms of advertising and marketing and for a “precautionary approach to protecting young people against these marketing techniques”[5]
If alcohol ads are never going to be banned, we strongly believe that not only the SABC, but other broadcasting channels as well, need to adopt the above strategy;
• Do not use settings that associate alcohol products with status and success.
• Avoid using young people in the advertisements, or implement a law that only adults from the age of 40 and so, can be in alcohol ads.
• Refrain from using influential words such as “Boss, The Man, Good Life, etc.

Why we should act now

We are what we consume!
South Africa has a peculiar drinking profile, and is currently dealing with a large community from the age 15, who are struggling with alcohol abuse. Even though there are hundreds of organisations and campaigns raising awareness about the dangers of alcohol abuse, it does not make it right to have such ads, which are promoting the very same thing that our young black women, men and non gender conforming society are struggling with. We know that advertising causes younger people to drink sooner and in greater quantities. It also creates an environment that normalises drinking and it typically only portrays positive sides of drinking and not any negatives.[6]

If we act now, we can have the power to control what we consume on TV, and by doing that, we will be saving ourselves, and the lives of young people.
#WeDontNeedAlcoholToBeSuccessful

[1] SABC Could Lose Half a Billion Rand If Alcohol Ads Are Banned. Zodidi Dano for IOL. 16 April 2018
[2] Banning Advertising Alcohol Can Save SA R1.9 Billion. Zeenat Vallie for IOL. 2 March 2018.
[3] Impact of Alcohol Advertising and Media Exposure on Adolescent Alcohol Use. Peter Anderson, Avalon de Bruijn, Kathryn Angus, Ross Gordon & Gerard Hastings. SAAPA. 14 January 2009.
[4] Alcohol Ads Luring SA Youth to Drink. Noni Mokati for IOL and Soul City Institute For Social Justice. 24 February 2017.
[5] Alcohol Advertising In South Africa: A Trend And Comparative Analysis. Corne van Walbeek & Michael Daly for School of Economics, University of Cape Town. January 2014.
[6]Proposed New Liquor Law Needs Revisiting. Marvin Charles for IOL. 16 August 2017.
Image: Pexels


Reasons for signing

  • To divert alcohol things from children
  • It's for a good course
  • It's for a good course.

Updates

2019-06-08 17:49:51 +0200

100 signatures reached

2019-06-02 12:14:02 +0200

50 signatures reached

2019-05-31 17:58:36 +0200

25 signatures reached

2019-05-31 15:49:41 +0200

10 signatures reached