Alcohol Advertising in Botswana

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Alcohol in the media is said to have an impact on young people’s overall perception and behavior. Content analysis on images in alcohol advertisement links drinking with valued personal attributes and desirable outcomes. The World Health Organization has recognized advertising of alcohol as one of the major areas of intervention in the field of reducing alcohol related harm.

The Botswana Alcohol Policy strives to follow some of the WHO recommendation, however, the policy  endorses a self regulatory system by the alcohol industry that focuses on interventions proven to have little impact on reduction of use and abuse. As the industry has targeted youth culture and seeing the relationship between alcohol and advertisement, in a nation where about 38% of the population is youth, it is important to have clear stipulations in the current policy targeted towards the issue.

The policy points out that there shall be regulation of the availability of alcohol, production, trade, promotion, marketing and advertising, however it it not clear about the roles different institutions should play.

There are several bodies and institutions that can play a role in monitoring the process, to ensure that clear guidelines are followed by the industry. Ministry of Health as the custodian of health in the country, Ministry  of Youth Sports and Culture as the leading body in youth affairs could ensure positive alcohol portrayals that still promote culture and healthy youth. The Botswana National Youth Council could play a large role in ensuring the depiction of youth in a health and realistic manner.

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2 Responses to “Alcohol Advertising in Botswana”

  1. sbfphc Says:

    The missing link, as with so many well meaning policies, is the implementation and enforcement aspects. In most former British colonies there are clear laws about alcohol sales – on-premiss licenses and off-premiss licenses, age of customer, etc., etc. But who goes down to the local bar in a shack in the bustling market or off a side street to check? If existing laws are not implemented, what of new ones – clearly the media issue is more visible at sporting and other events and on television, radio and in newspapers – this can be seen, but what happens at the community level?

  2. tshegom Says:

    That is very true especially if the sales of alcohol beverages are a source of income for many families. and again alcohol has been around for years as part of the “culture” of celebration, religious ceremonies and for leisure. At the community level, monitoring and policing is almost impossible, however, i still awed at the lengths the industry goes to, to ensure product sales on a daily basis, how they make it attractive and a part of the individual. Logic alone would tell you that alcohol is not good, we see the results all the time but, they way the industry tells us how normal and it is “cool” it is,the way the industry makes it seem like part and parcel of an acceptable lifestyle..should be monitored.

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