Kwadwo Nkansah Lil Win and his colleague Kwaku Manu, both Kumawood Actors are calling on Food and Drugs Board Authority (FDA) to review a directive of banning stars from advertising for alcoholic beverages as they could influence children into alcoholism.
The Actors gave very unconvincing and childish reasons to the FDA to allow them advertise for alcoholic beverages. Lil Win noted, ““We entertain people to make them happy, but ironically we weep when we get home because the pay is too small. So we will be left with no other option than to invoke curses on Food and Drugs Authority if they dare try to prevent us from advertising alcoholic deleverages which has been our source of additional income.” Kwaku Manu on the other hand says “People see us as rich but only God knows how we struggle to survive so we need additional income from such advertisements to cater for our family,” such selfish and unknowledgeable reasons.
The Actors are not concerned about the impact of their presence in the adverts as they are seen as role models by many who watch them and are highly motivated by their stories, talent and their life. In advertisement, the presence of a celebrity is an endorsement for the product. This means, the celebrity has stamped his authority on the alcohol, directly/indirectly advising the fans and non-fans alike to take in the product.
The corporate environment has become over competitive that, industries are using all means to magnet the attention of their targeted audience. Marketers use celebrity endorsement to influence the purchase decision of consumers in order to increase their sales and extend their market shares. Unknown to many parents, some of their children have become alcohol addicts and even compete amongst themselves at parties and other gatherings partly because they see their celebrities confirming that the intake of those alcohols are the source of their exceptional talents and skills.
An advert like Fanyogo where Michael Essien end the advert with “Fanyogo, my secret.” Imagine if that was an alcoholic beverage where the influential Footballer mentioned that, that is his secret, how many underage fans and admirers would be lured into it. Advertisements are strategically made to tickle the thirst and hunger of their consumers and in no way would the stars mention that it is not a good product in the advert.
Another funny argument is that, the alcohols stamp on them, “not suitable for persons under 18 years.” I interviewed 4 children who were between the ages of 9 – 11 years, asking them which alcoholic beverages they remember; they quickly mentioned ‘Brukusu bitters’ and ‘Boys abr3.’ Asking them what makes them remember the advertisement, all of them said the dance in the adverts and those in the adverts. Asking them if that makes them thirst for the alcohol, 3 of them said no and one said yes, he thirst for the alcohol. A Taiwanese study found that consumers are quicker to “memorize” the product a celebrity is involved with, whether they’re a fan or not. The human brain recognize celebrities similarly to how we recognize people we actually know. This tethers us to whatever they’re promoting. And if we happen to be fans, we’re even more likely to place value on products they’re endorsing—just like advice from a valued friend.
A Chronicle report on on July 28, 2011 headlined ‘Excessive drinking of alcohol and smoking by youth condemned’ revealed that, the Executive Director of Proud to be Ghanaian Initiative, Mr. Clarence Ankomah “maintained that the rising number of riots in the nation’s Senior High Schools, especially, during sports festivals, were as a result of the students taking in excessive alcohol during the games period.” How old are SHS Students, many are below the age 18 and we are sitting unconcerned watching the future generation thrown into this destruction?
The Kumawood Actors should think that, everyone has the obligation to work on behalf of the next generation and that we should leave a legacy worth celebrating and not think about what they will get today to the neglect of the adverse effects of alcohol on the children tomorrow.
Lil Win is threatening to invoke curses on FDA when they finally implement the ban but he should not be shocked posterity will invoke curses on him and his progenies for thinking about his stomach today and not posterity.
A word to the wise……
Author: Nana Kwesi Coomson (www.233times.com) @nkcoomson on Twiiter