Seasoned entertainment pundit, Arnold Asamoah Baidoo, has strongly criticized the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) for its recent decision to prohibit celebrities from advertising alcohol.
Mr Baidoo argues that this move is detrimental to the entertainment industry, as many celebrities derive a significant portion of their income from endorsement deals with alcoholic beverage companies.
Expressing his views on the United Showbiz show on November 18, Arnold emphasized that the FDA’s decision could have adverse effects on the industry’s revenue streams.
“Most of these alcoholic beverage companies take on celebrities as brand ambassadors, and you and I know for a fact that one of the biggest revenue-generating points for these celebrities is endorsement deals.
“If you cut such an avenue, you are killing the entertainment industry. Beverage companies can’t sponsor events and productions. The FDA thinks it’s creating sanity in society, but it’s destroying the entertainment industry,” he said.
He contended that by restricting celebrities from endorsing alcoholic brands, the FDA is hindering beverage companies from sponsoring events and productions, ultimately harming the entertainment sector.
Arnold highlighted the practice of international brands like Heineken, which advertise their products without explicitly showing celebrities consuming alcohol.
He questioned why a similar approach couldn’t be adopted in Ghana.
The pundit commended the Gaming Commission and the National Lottery Authority for their approach of involving celebrities rather than imposing a ban.
He underscored the positive impact that celebrities could have in educating children about responsible drinking.
Expressing his frustration, Arnold criticized regulatory bodies like the FDA for making decisions without transparent justifications or data. He voiced support for a potential lawsuit, suggesting
that legal proceedings might be the most effective way to resolve the issue.
In the background, Mark Darlington Osae, the artist manager of Reggie ‘N’ Bollie and Skrewfaze, has filed a lawsuit against the FDA and Attorney General Godfred Yeboah Dame, contesting the ban on celebrities endorsing alcohol-related products. The FDA had implemented the ban, considering it inappropriate influence on the youth.
Osae submitted a writ of summons on November 11, 2022, arguing that the 2015 FDA recommendations are unfair to the creative arts sector.
The lawsuit challenges the constitutional provisions and calls the FDA guidelines null, void, and unenforceable.
Several celebrities, including Camidoh, Brother Sammy, Wendy Shay, Shatta Wale, and Kuami Eugene, had spoken against the ban, advocating for its repeal.
The scheduled hearing for November 15 was adjourned to January 17, where a seven-member panel of judges is expected to preside.
Source: The Independent Ghana