LIQUOR AMENDMENT BILL
Heineken warns ad ban could cost broadcasters billions
The proposal is part of the state’s efforts to curb alcohol abuse
A ban on alcohol advertising could cost SA’s broadcast media industry R2.38bn a year, beverages group Heineken said. The government is considering the Liquor Amendment Bill, which could result in a ban on alcohol advertisements from 6am to 10pm and the minimum drinking age being raised from 18 to 21 years. The proposal is part of the state’s efforts to curb alcohol abuse. "For above-the-line media spend, we project that total liquor industry spend of R2.38bn per annum will be lost to the broadcast industry," said Zodwa Velleman, corporate affairs director at Heineken. That excluded print media and outdoor advertising, including billboards, Velleman said. The employment of "more than 548,000 people" could be in jeopardy, she said. "The loss will not only be to the media and advertising houses, but across the value chain and to small and new players in the [alcohol] industry." This was a challenge in an economy that was not creating as much employment opportunities as required, she sa...