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Finweek English Edition - - INVESTMENT - TAN­DI­S­IZWE MAHLUT­SHANA

THE CON­TROL of Mar­ket­ing of Al­co­hol Bev­er­ages Bill was ap­proved by cab­i­net midSeptem­ber. In its cur­rent form, it seeks to ban the ad­ver­tis­ing and pro­mo­tion of al­co­hol. As ex­pected, there are di­ver­gent views on the pro­posal, but the one which I’m par­tic­u­larly in­ter­ested in is the cre­ation of mo­nop­o­lies if the bill goes through in its cur­rent form. Smaller and new brewers would be un­able to thrive as they couldn’t ad­ver­tise their of­fer­ings. This would make the likes of SAB­Miller un­touch­able.

From a de­vel­op­men­tal per­spec­tive, I am against this no­tion as it also sig­nif­i­cantly stif les en­trepreneur­ship. From an in­vest­ment per­spec­tive, though, it’s another thing. SAB­Miller is the only big JSE-listed beer brewer, with the ex­cep­tion of tra­di­tional beer brewer Awethu. It’s also listed in Lon­don and is the world’s sec­ond-largest brewer.

Ad­ver­tis­ing can be banned but peo­ple know and trust SAB­Miller prod­ucts. Fur­ther, there is no em­pir­i­cal ev­i­dence that says peo­ple drink less when al­co­hol is no longer ad­ver­tised.

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