The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has come under fire from entertainment expert Arnold Asamoah Baidoo for its recent move to forbid celebrity endorsements of alcohol.
He believes that the ban is more detrimental to the entertainment industry than beneficial because many celebrities depend heavily on sponsorship and ambassadorial deals with alcohol corporations to make ends meet.
In an interview with UTV that 1Family Radio monitored, he contended that the FDA’s ruling might affect the industry’s revenue sources by prohibiting beverage firms from supporting shows and events.
He claims that the entertainment industry is actually being destroyed by the FDA’s efforts to establish and encourage decency.
“Most of these alcoholic beverage companies take on celebrities as brand ambassadors, and you and I know for a fact that one of the biggest revenue-generating points for these celebrities is endorsement deals.’’
“If you cut such an avenue, you are killing the entertainment industry. Beverage companies can’t sponsor events and productions. The FDA thinks it’s creating sanity in society, but it’s destroying the entertainment industry,’’ he noted.
He made the observation that certain foreign companies, such as Heineken, are able to market their goods without using graphic images of celebrities drinking, and he questioned why Ghana couldn’t use a similar strategy.
“If you look at the advertisements by Heineken, they do the advertisements without showing the celebrities actually drink them. So why can’t we do the same?’’ he asked.
Arnold also applauded the National Lottery Authority and the Gaming Commission for using celebrities rather than outlawing them. He stressed that if celebrities were utilized to encourage responsible drinking, they could have a great educational impact on kids.
“The likes of the Gaming Commission and the NLA are actually using these celebrities instead of banning them. Look at the progress they’ve made. This is because these celebrities have influence and a following.’’
“If your mandate is to protect the children, why not use these celebrities to educate the children in that light? But right now, you’re killing the industry,’’ he added.