Slip­pery slope

Finweek English Edition - - Property Compass -

THE OUT­DOOR AD­VER­TIS­ING and liquor in­dus­tries are mo­bil­is­ing their de­fences to fend off a pro­posed ban on out­door liquor ad­ver­tis­ing. Adrian Botha, of the As­so­ci­a­tion for Re­spon­si­ble Al­co­hol Use (ARA), has pre­pared an ini­tial sub­mis­sion, and in­dus­try ex­ec­u­tives plan meet­ings to for­mu­late a strat­egy.

The Depart­ment of Trans­port is propos­ing to out­law liquor ad­ver­tis­ing “vis­i­ble from a pub­lic road”. That af­fects bill­boards and other out-of-home ad­ver­tis­ing and also, per­haps un­in­ten­tion­ally, would put a stop to de­liv­ery ve­hi­cles with brand iden­tity, liquor stores car­ry­ing prod­uct sig­nage on ex­ter­nal walls and sta­dium ad­ver­tis­ing.

Out­door’s share of to­tal liquor ad­spend ap­pears to be ris­ing. Last year it was R110m, or 15%; this year to Septem­ber it was up to 18% (though off a lower base). But some com­pa­nies spend even more on out­door. SABMiller’s out­door spend is 28% of its to­tal.

While rev­enue losses would be a blow, they wouldn’t be as se­vere as the ban on to­bacco ad­ver­tis­ing a few years ago. But what wor­ries INM Out­doors MD Bazil Lau­ryssen is that it’s a pre­lude to steadily in­creas­ing re­stric­tions, as hap­pened in to­bacco. “We’re tak­ing le­gal ad­vice,” he says.

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