FDA to introduce digital billboards regulations for alcoholic ads

File photo[/caption] The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) is considering the introduction of a “Digital Billboards Regulations” to prevent the display of alcoholic adverts between 6am and 8pm. The FDA said such a regulation will mandate alcoholic beverage producers to mount their billboards solely on the electronic device to enable them regulate these adverts to commensurate with the ban on the playing and airing of adverts on radio and TV stations from 6am to 8pm. Though the ban is in effect, it has been difficult controlling billboards advertising alcoholic products like it has been able to achieve with the TV and radio stations. Billboards are mounted on the streets 24/7 displaying to the public including children who are not supposed to see such adverts. This situation defeats the purpose for which showing of alcoholic beverage adverts were banned for certain periods in the day. The Director of Communications at the FDA, James Lartey, confirmed to Onua FM’s Yen Sempa Monday that “between the periods of 6am and 8pm, you can’t play advert on alcoholic beverage on TV and radio stations because children are active within that period and there can be effects of the advert on the child”. He explained: “It forms a perception on them [children] if they monitor discussions in the media…If we allow such adverts to be played at certain time, we will endanger the lives of these children.” Touching on billboards Mr. Lartey admitted that “with billboards, you can’t force people not to look at them but we have a regulation in place. The regulation is that, it will not be placed at a location that is 200 metres closer to a school. “How long do you stand in front of the bill? There is an issue on billboard but it’s not like the radio and TV adverts”. Nonetheless, Mr. Lartey said the FDA will consider tightening existing regulations to ensure that children are not exposed to billboards displaying alcoholic beverages. “We will change the billboards to electronic changing ads. We will look at it. We shall consider that. We shall come out with a regulation. Digital billboards regulations will be put in place”, he promised. Asked when the FDA will come out with such a regulation, Mr. Lartey said, “I can’t give you time, but I know very soon we will come out with a regulation”.

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By Kweku Antwi-Otoo|3news.com|Ghana]]>