Supreme Court to Rule on Challenge to FDA Directive on Celebrity Alcoholic Advertisements

The Supreme Court has scheduled April 10, 2024, as the date for delivering a judgment on the case challenging the Food and Drugs Authority’s (FDA) directive prohibiting celebrities from advertising alcoholic beverages. The seven-member panel, led by Chief Justice Gertrude Torkornoo, fixed the date on Wednesday, January 17, 2024.

The FDA implemented the directive in 2015, aiming to regulate alcohol consumption in Ghana by restricting celebrities from endorsing alcoholic products. The FDA argued that celebrities’ influence could potentially lead minors to engage in alcohol consumption.

Representing the plaintiff, Mark Darlington Osae, the manager of Reggie ā€˜Nā€™ Bollie and Skrewfaze, is Bobby Banson from the Robert Smith Law Group. Justine Amenuvor represented the Food and Drugs Authority, and Sammy Awuku, the Director General of the National Lottery Authority and a member of Mark Darlington’s legal team, was also present.

Mark Darlington Osae filed the case on November 11, 2022, describing the FDA’s regulations as discriminatory against the creative arts industry. He argues that the directive, prohibiting “well-known personality or professional” involvement in alcoholic beverage advertising, violates constitutional provisions guaranteeing equality before the law and prohibiting discrimination based on social or economic status.

Celebrities such as Wendy Shay, Shatta Wale, Brother Sammy, Kuami Eugene, and Camidoh have criticized the FDA directive, calling for its repeal. They argue that restrictions on endorsements or advertisements of alcoholic beverages limit their income streams, affecting their livelihoods.

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