Lifestyle

Celebrities call the bluff of FDA over alcohol advert

Dancehall musician, Shatta Wale is among some celebrities who have reacted to the restrictions the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has placed on them when it comes to promoting alcoholic beverages through advertisement.

They claimed their appearance in such adverts does not in any way affect the country negatively and called on the FDA to review that law.

The FDA forbids celebrities or popular persons in the country from publicly endorsing alcohol and this according to the regulatory body, is to ensure young people, especially teenagers, who are fans of celebrities do not engage in alcoholism.

The latest celebrity to react to this brouhaha is multiple award-winning reggae Dancehall musician, Shatta Wale. He expressed disappointment in the FDA after pictures of some Nigerian celebrities endorsing Adonko bitters after they were unveiled as ambassadors for the Adonko brand at a star-studded event in Nigeria started circulating online.

The Nigerian celebrities who were seen in the images include Melvin Oduah, Ini Edo, Jim Iyke, Victor AD, and Charles Okocha among others.

The controversial singer took to his twitter handle and angrily descended on the FDA and his fellow entertainers, saying it was time for Ghanaian celebrities to stand up for their right because Nigerian stars have started cashing in on what the FDA is preventing them from doing.

His post read “Ghanaian musicians only think about awards and not business and more over they behave like children, no wonder FDA sees us as great influence to minors! Poor mentality.”

In another hilarious post, the self-acclaimed dancehall king said “Congratulations to all my Naija brothers and celebs on your Adonko deal, in fact, Adonko come and sign me because I am also a Nigerian, my name is Shatta Ike Chwuku Wale. Thank you.”

Similarly Afrobeat songstress, Wendy Shay expressed dismay at the level of “inconsideration” directed at Ghanaian artistes by the FDA, saying it was unfair for the FDA to look on while Nigerian celebrities are being paid huge sums of monies from Ghanaian alcohol brands for commercials in their country.

“Now Gh companies are paying Naija celebs big money for endorsement. I told Gh celebs to wake up but nobody listened to me. FDA lift that ban, you are taking food from our mouth,” she posted on her social media handles.

Comedienne Afia Swarzenegger on her part descended heavily on the FDA and said celebrities doing commercials for alcohol would not have any negative impact on the youth or minors, adding that even though nobody advertised tramadol, it has become one of the most abused drugs among the youth and some teenagers in the country.

She further urged the FDA to lift the ban as a matter of urgency.

According to her, it was a shame for Nigerian celebrities to be getting endorsement deals from Ghanaian alcohol producing companies just because Ghanaian celebrities have been banned from accepting such offers.

Afia Swarzenegger said she would not reject any endorsement deal from any alcohol producing company and dared the FDA to come after her when they see her in any alcohol advertisement.

Popular comedian and host of one of Ghana’s popular food shows “Edziban”, Mr Kwame Dzokoto also added his voice to the concern of his colleagues and called for the immediate lift of the ban.

In an earlier interview with the Ghanaian Times during the genesis of the brouhaha, the Head of Communication of the FDA, Mr James Lartey said celebrities should rather partner with the FDA to educate the youth and the public at large on the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse instead of accepting offers that seek to promote the consumption of alcohol.

Such commercials, he added easily corrupt the minds of the large fan base of the celebrities including minors.

BY RAISSA SAMBOU           

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