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.