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Business News of Sunday, 8 March 2020

Source: laudbusiness.com

Pass ad bill now – Group to Parliament


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Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Child Online Africa (COA), has asked Ghana’s legislature to pass the Advertising Industry Bill.

This, according to the NGO will ensure the protection of children.

“In some cases, outdoor posters such as billboards are ‘overtly/explicitly sexual’ and material considered to be ‘sexually suggestive’ are placed at strategic locations within meters of some schools,” COA said in a statement.

According to COA, a report launched on Tuesday, 25 February 2020 by the WHO-UNICEF pointed out that the health and rights of all children and adolescents are under threat due to harm caused by mass commercial marketing of harmful products such as alcohol, sugar, tobacco, drugs and pornography among others.

The child-focused research and advocacy-based NGO said it expects that the vetting and approval process of advertisement should take into consideration the best interest of the child by making sure that advertisements for products meet approved standards.

“This implies that the Food and Drugs Authority should ensure that the advertisements are appropriate such that the image or language used do not have adverse effect on children,” the statement said.

The NGO noted that it has observed mainstream and social media and identified about 55 respected and noticeable brands which have not observed the preferred international benchmarks on marketing their products although they have been vetted and approved by the Food and Drugs Authority.

It said billboards, banners and posters are hoisted at strategic locations on principal streets without due consideration of the impact of such advertisement on unsuspecting under-age persons.

In most cases, COA, noted that “the inappropriate content or scenes contained in these ads were portrayed in funny characters. The psychological impact of such advertisement could be far reaching for children, families, as well as the country as a whole.”

The NGO concluded that inappropriate advertisement contribute to the negative development of children in Ghana.

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