Assessment of alcohol advertising practices in Ethiopia
Background: Alcohol advertising should be prepared with an appropriate sense of responsibility to the consumer public. In Ethiopia, some aspects of alcohol advertising practices contravene with standards.
Objectives: To document alcohol advertising practices and explore perceptions about them in Ethiopia.
Methods: A qualitative study was carried out in 2010, in the relevant institutions selected purposively from Addis Ababa: private media/advertising agencies, the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH)/ Food, Medicine and Health Care Administration and Control Authority, Ethiopian Public Health Association (EPHA), Ethiopian Medical Association (EMA), the Ethiopian Youth and Sports Ministry (MYS), Addis Ababa University (AAU), Addis Continental Institute of Public Health (ACIPH), the Ethiopian Broadcast Authority (EBA) and a brewery. Data were generated using indepth, face-to-face interviews with 18 professionals from the nine institutions. Slightly differing interview guides were used according to nature of institutions; thematic analysis of the data on transcribed interviews was performed.
Results: Alcohol advertising practices in Ethiopia contravene with fundamental principles of marketing for alcoholic beverages. Advertisers use misleading information about alcoholic drinks, employ people with questionable legal age and use imagery that could be particularly appealing to young audiences. Lack of audience segmenting mechanisms in the media coupled with other forms of promotion such as sponsorships expose, even the very young, to alcohol advertisements.
Conclusions: The existing practice of alcohol advertising in the country is against the interest of the public. All concerned stakeholders should be considered in alcohol related policy formulation, implementation and monitoring.