Comedienne Afia Schwarzenegger is peeved, to say the least, at the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) following the outfit’s decision to ban celebrities from advertising alcoholic products.
About five years ago, the FDA made it known that celebrities could not advertise alcoholic products. It explained that the ban is an adherence to a World Health Organization (WHO) policy and efforts to ensure that minors are protected from being lured into alcoholism.
In the midst of the incessant pressure to lift the ban, Kofi Essel, Head of Industry Support Services Department of the FDA in an interview said the FDA would not allow any popular figure to negatively influence the youth. He rather asked that celebrities should support the move instead of calling on the authority to rescind its decision on the basis that their incomes had reduced as a result of the ban.
“Can you imagine someone like Shatta Wale or John Dumelo endorsing alcoholic beverages for their fans who are probably below 18? What will they be telling them? The use of alcohol is as serious as guns, and I would rather plead that celebrities support the cause,” he told Graphic Showbiz.
“Well known persons have the potential to influence their followers who are not legally permitted to possess alcohol or use alcohol. In view of that guidelines have been set to guide operations of alcoholic beverage companies, including advertisement of their products and this is the reason well known persons are not allowed to endorse the products.”
On Thursday February 13, 2020, a ceremony held at The Oriental Hotel, in Lekki saw the unveiling of Nigerian celebrities INi Edo, Jim Iyke, Uti Nwavhukwu, Teddy A, Charles Okocha, Victor AD and Melvin Oduah as ambassadors of Adonko Bitters – a product by a Ghanaian company.
The event was hosted by Ghanaian actress and TV presenter Selly Gelly.
Afia Schwarzenegger, irked by the news, has unleashed insults on FDA, describing the resolve to not overturn the ban as stupid. Like other Ghanaian celebrities, she is of the view that her colleagues are unreasonably losing money to foreigners.
She said: “So why can’t Ghanaian leaders think outside the box? Who the hell sat at the Food and Drugs office and drafted such a primitive ban? Adonko Bitters has now signed Nigerian celebrities, given them huge sums of money to advertise the product so it airs on DSTV. Will you go after DSTV? This is pure stupidity. A foreigner is now benefiting when Ghanaian celebrities could have advertised and paid taxes… Fools!
“How many celebrities endorsed tramadol? People used the medicine without any endorsement from any celebrity. If you can’t train your children, don’t expose your level of stupidity by banning us. You allowed contaminated gizzard into the country yet sit in that office and fool around. Idiots!”
Ban pointless – Edem
In October last year, rapper Edem described as “pointless” the decision to ban on celebrities from advertising alcoholic products.
“Nothing is working in the entertainment field and the main problem is because the government has banned alcoholic beverage producers from sponsoring events and also stopped celebrities from endorsing alcoholic beverages which is so wrong.
“It is pointless to say that because we are celebrities, we should not endorse an alcoholic product. The companies have stated that the drink is for people above 18 years so how is the celebrity influencing underage people? They should kindly allow us to stay in business because the shows are not a lot,” he told Graphic Showbiz.