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  • Plans by the Government to reform regulations for alcoholic beverage advertising are being supported by the Advertising Agencies Association of Jamaica (AAAJ).
  • Minister with Responsibility for Information, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, says this will include “responsible and cautionary messages,” as part of the advertising campaigns for alcohol sale and consumption.
  • Senator Falconer said consistent with the “general principle” of socially responsible advertising, “every consideration must be given to ensure that all advertisers of alcoholic beverages, and other such products, include cautionary messages as part of such advertisements.”

Plans by the Government to reform regulations for alcoholic beverage advertising are being supported by the Advertising Agencies Association of Jamaica (AAAJ).

Minister with Responsibility for Information, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, says this will include “responsible and cautionary messages,” as part of the advertising campaigns for alcohol sale and consumption.

Senator Falconer gave details during her address at the AAAJ’s 2013 Media of the Year Awards Luncheon, held at the Terra Nova Hotel in St. Andrew, on October 22, where President, Arnold Foote Jr. , advised that the organization supports the decision by Government.

Senator Falconer said consistent with the “general principle” of socially responsible advertising, “every consideration must be given to ensure that all advertisers of alcoholic beverages, and other such products, include cautionary messages as part of such advertisements.”

She noted that already, “on a purely voluntary basis,” some advertisements carry appropriate warning or cautionary messages, such as not drinking and driving or being 18 years and older, to engage in the use of such products.

“I also know that not all advertisers and agencies are members of the AAAJ and Jamaica Alcohol Beverage Association (JABA). This means that we must find a way, through regulation, to hold all advertisers to standards that are not lower than those which the industry associations have established and are adhering to,” the Minister said.

Senator Falconer advised that consultations which the Broadcasting Commission (BC) has been having on the matter have generated “wide participation and debate.”

“The food, beverage, and advertising stakeholders, including JABA and the AAAJ, have been given an opportunity to discuss and comment on the Commission’s report in these public consultations. I expect, consistent with its usual practice, that the Commission will place appropriate weight on the insight from its engagement with the AAAJ and JABA, in its deliberation(s) on what, if any, policy recommendations are to be made to me, and then to the Cabinet,” she added.

In response, Mr. Foote underscored the “bad reality” as regards “our understanding of alcohol consumption.”

“There are things that we do have to put in place, and the (consultations)  by the Broadcasting Commission are important. The more we can raise the awareness of the effects of the abuse of alcohol, to ensure that our respective clients are responsible (in their response), and that we create responsible communications for them, the better off we will all be. So, we are definitely on board with that initiative,” he said.

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