Advertising has become a remarkable way for businesses to thrive, however, with new regulations set to be imposed on the use of celebrities, opportunities are becoming scarce in the industry, especially in Ghana
Regulatory bodies in the country have enforced restrictions, preventing celebrities to partake as ambassadors for betting companies and alcohol-producing brands. The Gaming Commission of Ghana (GCG) recently issued a guideline to effectively carry out these restrictions preventing celebrities or other notable personnel in the country from endorsing specific products or taking part in any advertisements that promotes betting.
“The Commission, in protecting the interests of punters, customers and stakeholders, mandates that advertisement must contain warnings like "Gamble Responsibly", "Only 18 years+", "Gambling is Addictive" etc. and any other warning may be prescribed by the Commission.”
The new rule from the commission was not well received and faced some criticisms from some celebrities including singers like Shatta Wale and Wendy Shay.
According to both celebrities, the Commission and the FDA's new rules effected their income massively as they relied on endorsement deals. Shatta Wale (left) went ahead to express his frustrations in a lengthy video he made speaking about his displeasure with the regulatory bodies and their directives on the harsh decision taken.
However, the authorities have remained firm in their decision explaining that "it's a step in the right direction." Also adding that celebrities endorsing such products and services would affect youths and minors who see them as role models.
Although this declaration received positive feedback from some people, it still received criticism from celebrities and according to Mrs Marian Lamptey, "the general populace is more comfortable when they see popular faces, especially that of celebrities serving as brand ambassadors, endorsing or even advertising for the brands."
Also, Lamptey further added that "now that the Gaming Commission has barred celebrities from advertising for betting companies, brand awareness may take a nose dive unless the company has already solidified their presence in the betting market in Ghana."
The Gaming Commission laid down the regulations with the law backing the rule, established by the Gaming Act in 2006, Act 721 with the sole purpose of controlling, monitoring and supervision on the operations of Games of Chance in the country which states a few of the following;
- The advertisement should not appeal either directly or indirectly to persons under the legal gaming age of 18 years, or be placed in any media that is targeted specifically at such persons.
- Gaming advertisements should not run during the airing of movies or programs with the following ratings; Family (F), Parental Guidance 16 (PG 16), and Adult Accompaniment (AA).
- No gaming advertisements shall be allowed at a public function where persons under the legal gaming age are likely to attend.
These restrictions may end up becoming a long debate between the Gaming Commission and the celebrities, but there are hopes that a lasting solution can be agreed upon if both sides took critical views on the problem at hand.
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