Iconic Ghanaian rapper, Sarkodie made an appearance at the Supreme Court on Wednesday, November 15, 2023, as a show of support for the entertainment industry over its battle with the Food and Drugs Authority to have the regulation that prohibits celebrities from endorsing alcoholic beverages withdrawn.
This guideline prohibits the use of celebrities and well-known personalities in the advertisement of alcoholic products.
According to Graphic Online, the case was initiated by Mark Darlington Osae, the manager of Hiplife artistes Reggie ‘N’ Bollie and Skrewfaze. The plaintiff argues that the FDA’s guideline is unconstitutional as it infringes upon the right to non-discrimination, as stated in Article 17 of the 1992 Constitution.
Article 17(1) of the Constitution stipulates that all persons shall be equal before the law, while Article 17(2) states that “a person shall not be discriminated on grounds of gender, race, colour , ethnic origin, religion, creed or social or economic status”.
Guideline 3.2.10 of Guidelines for the Advertisement of Foods was published by the FDA on February 1, 2016. It states that “No well-known personality or professional shall be used in alcoholic beverage advertising”.
The FDA contended that the guideline was necessary to stop minors from being hooked to alcohol due to the influence of celebrities. In November last year, Mr Osae, who is also the Chairman and Co-Founder of Ghana Music Alliance, dragged the FDA and the Attorney General to the apex court.
He is asking the apex court for a declaration “that on a true and proper interpretation of Article 17(1) and (2), Guideline 3.2.10 of the Guidelines for the Advertisement of Foods published by the 1st Defendant on 1st February 2016 which prohibits well-known personalities and professionals from advertising alcoholic products is inconsistent with and in contravention of articles 17(1) and 17 (2) of the 1992 Constitution which guarantee equality before the law and prohibits discrimination against persons on grounds of social or economic status, occupation amongst others and consequently null, void and unenforceable.”
He is also seeking “an order striking down Guideline 3.2.10 of the Guidelines for the Advertisement of foods published by the 1st Defendant on 1st February 2016 as being inconsistent with and in contravention of the letter and spirit of the 1992 Constitution and as such a nullity”