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Will tobacco industry show a way for South African alcohol marketing?

English: A collection of South African wines a...

English: A collection of South African wines and cheese (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Can liquor industry learn from tobacco on how to approach control of their marketing activities? Paul Jacobson (@pauljacobson), founder and director of Web•Tech•Law believes so as he writes in his article “What the tobacco ad ban can teach the liquor industry“.


According to the briefing on the proposed  Control of Marketing of Alcohol Beverages Bill by the Minister of Social Development in South African Governemnt, Mr. Bathalibe Dlamini, regulators are going to pass the rules to limit alcohol marketing. This will be achieved by

  1. Restricting the advertisement of alcoholic beverages
  2. Prohibiting any sponsorship associated with alcoholic beverages (excluding donations), and
  3. Prohibiting any promotion of alcoholic beverages

While there are differences between tobacco and alcohol there are also obvious similarities between the objectives of this Bill and those of the Tobacco Products Control Act, 1993 (Act No. 83 of 1993), as amended by the Tobacco Products Control Amendment Act, 2008 (Act No. 63 of 2008). This Bill must be dealt with in terms of the same principles.

– says Minister Dlamini

Proposed restrictions will contain:

  •  the restriction of the advertising ofalcoholic beverages; exceptions include:
    • pricelists in licensed and registered premises
    • notices inside registered premises
    • name, address and logo on delivery vehicles
  • the prohibition of sponsorship associated with alcohol. However a manufacturer or importer may make a charitable financial contribution or sponsorship provided this is not for the purpose of advertisement and is not associated with any brand name.
  • the prohibition of free distribution and reward of


According to Mr. Jacobson alcohol producers and distributors should learn from tobacco industry how to innovate and market their products in compliance to the regulations. According to Mr. Jacobson the most interesting area of development for the liquor industry will be digital space, and especially social media. Digital agencies will need to combine forces with legal teams to develop meaningful and compliant campaigns.


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One comment

  1. Digital business has come a long way during the past decade. We have seen many new trends introduce and processes change since we entered internet marketing services, but the only reality that has prevailed, and will sustain forever is content. Content is the magnet which keeps target audience attracted and prompts them to become customers.

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