In a world where advertising and advertisement have become the way to go if you want your business to grow, the opportunities that have been created in such industries are becoming slimmer by the day, especially in Ghana.
This is because regulatory bodies in the country are closing such gaps and restricting celebs to put their faces out there for betting companies and alcohol-producing brands.
To this effect, the Gaming Commission of Ghana, this year, issued guidelines that would now prevent celebrities and notable personalities in the country from endorsing or advertising betting companies.
This new directive followed a previous ruling and directive from the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) that prohibited celebrities from endorsing alcoholic beverages as well.
The directive of the Gaming Commission received some criticism and subtle backlash from some celebs including singers Shatta Wale and Wendy Shay.
According to the two celebs, both the Gaming Commission and Food and Drugs Authority were streamlining their modes of income since money received from such deals would seize.
Shatta went on to record a whole lengthy video to vent his frustration at how the regulatory bodies were stifling their means of income with their directives.
The authorities, on the other hand, appear unperturbed by the backlash their recent directives have received and have stated why they fell it is a step in the right direction.
Among many other reasons, the regulators have said that celebrities endorsing such products and services, was going to have a telling effect on the youth and even minors who see them as role models.
Even though many people tend to agree with this assertion, there would be multiple effects on the celebs, the betting and alcohol-producing companies.
YEN.com.gh sought to solicit information from one such affected outfit and we managed to speak to the Human Resource Assistant at Soccabet, one of the best and popular betting companies in Ghana.
According to Mrs. Marian Lamptey, inasmuch as the betting companies would not be paying celebrities so much as they used to do, it would be difficult for them to push their brands to bigger markets.
Speaking on the issue, Marian Lamptey added that "the general populace is more comfortable when they see popular faces, especially that of celebs swerving as brand ambassadors, endorsing or even advertising for brands".
She added that: "Now that the Gaming Commission has barred celebs from advertising and for betting companies, brand awareness may take a nose dive unless the company has already solidified their presence in the betting market in Ghana".
According to her, more effort would now have to go into advertising and that social media managers, brand analysts and marketers now have their work cut out for them to ensure the survival of their brands.
This, to her, was going to be a Herculean task for such employees since hitherto the directive, celebrity endorsements did a lot of magic for brand awareness and growth better than traditional advertisement which was even way more expensive.
She added that now in the era when COVID-19 has plagued the whole world, such endorsement deals were an effective way for celebs to make money since it was mostly done through social media minimizing personal contact.
Marian connoted that in recent years, industries such as the betting companies have contributed massively to the creative arts and entertainment industry, therefore, the directive would invariably affect the growth of the industry.
Even though through the conversation, the HR Assistant indicated that regulation was important, she added that laws and directives were made by humans and that adjustments and exceptions could be made as well.
In all of this, however, the Gaming Commission has the backing of the law, established by the Gaming Act 2006, Act 721 with the main purpose of regulating, controlling, monitoring and supervising the operations of Games of Chance in the country which state some of the following:
The Commission, in protecting the interests of punters, customers and stakeholders, mandates that advertisements must contain warnings like “Gamble Responsibly”, “Only 18 Years+”, “Gambling is Addictive” etc. and any other warnings that may be prescribed by the Commission.
Advertisements shall 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 shall not run during the airing of movies or programmes 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.
It may end up being a long fought-out battle between celebs and the Gaming Commission of Ghana if they want to debate the issue.
There may be the discovery of many grat areas on all sides but it is possible for a lasting solution or directive to be birthed if both sides look at things critically.
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